Five RNLI lifeboats were launched last night (Thursday 9 June) from Larne and Red Bay in Northern Ireland and Portpatrick in Scotland to take part in an extensive search for a missing microlight aircraft.
The craft is understood to have two people onboard when it was reported missing off the Northern Ireland coastline.
The launch was requested by the coastguard when the aircraft was reported overdue at 8.30pm and a major search operation was put in place.
Joining the five RNLI lifeboats in the major search were the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 116 along with a rescue helicopter from Prestwick and local coastguard teams.
Search conditions were described as extremely challenging as visibility was poor due to thick fog. Larne RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat and D class lifeboat, Red Bay RNLI launched their Atlantic 85 and all-weather lifeboat along with the all-weather lifeboat from Portpatrick. The lifeboats between them searched a huge area off the Northern Ireland coastline before standing down the search after 4am.
It is expected that the search will resume again this morning; however weather conditions remain poor with heavy fog still present.
Photo Credit : RNLI/Nigel Millard