A pilot has been airlifted to safety after his two-man aircraft crashed into the sea of Co Wexford.

The light aircraft, believed to have been flown from England, went down shortly before 5pm.

The pilot, the only person on board, was winched to safety by a rescue helicopter after he was spotted on the wing of the Avid Speedwing single-engine aircraft.

It is understood he was suffering from shock and hypothermia.

The Department of Transport said the alarm was raised by someone who saw the plane ditch into the sea near Tuskar Rock.

'The pilot's injuries are not life-threatening,' said a spokeswoman.

'He was safely winched off the aircraft at around 5.25pm this evening.

'He was met by an ambulance at Waterford Airport and transferred to hospital.'

It is believed that the man was flying from west Haverford in England to Wellington Bridge in Wexford.

The wreckage was secured by coastguard crews and towed in to Rosslare Harbour.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) said two inspectors were sent to the scene to examine the aircraft and determine the cause of the crash.

'We don't have any idea yet why it crashed,' said a spokesman.