All four search and rescue bases have been returned to service after a temporary 'Safety Stand Down' over two hours.

CHC Ireland, which currently operates the bases, says this was to facilitate meetings about the transfer of the contract.


Two weeks ago, the Department of Transport announced it had awarded the Search and Rescue contract to Bristow Ireland.

The change over is scheduled to take place in July 2025, with Bristow set to operate six helicopters and two planes over set periods.

However the current contractor, CHC Ireland, says it's staff have not been guaranteed their jobs will be transferred to Bristow.

So it took two bases offline between 12 and 1 this afternoon, and two more from 1 to 2 - making sure there was cover available.

CHC Ireland says the lack of confirmation has caused elevated levels of stress, which can be interpreted as a risk in such a high pressure job.

The current contractor also says there's a European regulation that it believes should protect the rights of staff during a changeover.

Both the Department of Transport and Bristow Ireland have been approached for comment.



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