Plans to tilt the wreckage of Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter 116 using inflatable lifting bags are being abandoned due to inclement conditions at sea.

Spring tides have complicated already difficult diving conditions around Blackrock Island in Co Mayo in recent days.

Search co-ordinators now plan to lift the wreckage to the surface using a hoist over the weekend, when swells ease.

A specially equipped boat is travelling to north Mayo to take part in the operation.

It will be positioned directly above the aircraft, so the five-tonne wreckage can be taken from the water.

Naval Service divers will assist in the effort, which will allow for the inspection of an area below the helicopter that has been inaccessible since the crash over two weeks ago.

Search teams want to see if they can find any trace of the two missing crew members, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith, in this location.

The wreckage will be lifted entirely from the water and brought ashore.

It will be assessed by the Air Accident Investigation Unit, which is charged with identifying the causes of the fatal crash.

Naval Service divers attached specially designed lifting bags to the helicopter earlier this week but an effort to raise the wreckage in this manner proved impossible.

Meanwhile, an extensive coastal search for the missing R116 crew members is continuing today.

Several vessels are surveying waters north of the crash site, where prevailing winds would have blown any debris in the last two-and-a-half weeks.

The search field has been widened in recent days, to take in Donegal Bay and coastal regions north of Killybegs.

RNLI lifeboat personnel from Ballyglass, Achill, Sligo and Bundoran are all taking part, while crews from Rosslare, Valentia and Donaghadee have travelled to the northwest, to assist in the operation.

The RNLI says volunteers from around the country are being rostered to take part in the search for Mr Ormsby and Mr Smith in coming days.

Meanwhile, the funeral of Captain Mark Duffy, who died when the helicopter crashed, has taken place at Blackrock in Co Louth.

President Michael D Higgins was among those in attendance at the service.