Coastguard helicopter is grounded again

The Coastguard helicopter
The Coastguard helicopter
One of the Portsmouth divers going through decontamination. Picture: Royal Navy

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A COASTGUARD helicopter has been grounded for the second time in a week because of a technical fault.

Engineers are today working to repair the helicopter, which is based at the Daedalus airfield in Lee-on-the-Solent.

It comes days after the aircraft was barred from taking off following a crash by a similar model overseas.

The helicopter was cleared for use after replacement parts were installed.

But a technical fault affecting the engine is now keeping it on the ground again.

Fiona Warren, a spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: ‘We can confirm the coastguard rescue helicopter AW139 at Lee-on-the-Solent is offline due to a technical fault.

‘Engineers are on site working to resolve this.

‘Technical problems of this nature, while not routine, are well planned for.

‘The nature of the search and rescue helicopter system means that cover for the south coast can be provided even in these sorts of situations.’

In the meantime, search and rescue cover will be provided by military helicopters at air bases in Suffolk, Devon and Cornwall.