UK coastguard helicopter
The UK Coastguard has launched a search operation over the Irish Sea WikiCommons

A helicopter with five people on board has gone missing over the Irish Sea. The UK Coastguard has confirmed a search and rescue operation is underway in the Caernarfon Bay area of north Wales.

The privately owned twin squirrel red helicopter left Milton Keynes on Wednesday (29 March) en route to Dublin via Caernarfon Bay.

Radar contact with the helicopter was lost in the afternoon and at 4.15pm the Coastguard coordinated a search operation, Mirror Online reports.

All vessels passing through the Irish Sea route have been asked to contact the Coastguard to report any sightings of the helicopter as the search continues.

UK Coastguard duty commander Peter Davies said: "We have established a search plan between Caernarfon Bay and the shore of Dublin and currently have two Coastguard helicopters searching the route.

"We are in the process of contacting all the vessels in the Irish Sea that were in the vicinity around midday and we are continuing Mayday broadcast action for any vessels currently in the area to contact us if they have any further information.

"At the moment we are appealing to these vessels and to the public that if they have seen a twin squirrel red helicopter to please contact 999 and ask for the Coastguard.'