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29 Jun 2022

Fears grow over future of rescue helicopter that regularly serves Kilkenny

Fears grow that South East rescue helicopter that regularly serves Kilkenny may be axed

Rescue 117

Fears have been growing in the South East region that Rescue 117, a search and rescue helicopter that regularly responds to emergency incidents in Kilkenny, may be removed from its Waterford base.

The fears stem from the publication of a tender by the Department of Transport calling for a new Air Sea Rescue Service.

This new Air Sea Rescue Service intends to cover three helicopter bases instead of the four operating across Ireland currently.

Commenting on the tender, Senator Gerard Craughwell stated that 'clearly one station is not getting renewed' and added that he expects Waterford to be the one to get cut.

Speaking today, Piltown Municipal District chair Pat Dunphy said that 'the service is far too vital to the region to lose'.

"A lot of people have been saved thanks to it and we have to fight to ensure it is retained," he added.

Rescue 117 regularly assists in emergency situations and search and rescue operations in Kilkenny and across the entire South East region.

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