Search for missing Coast Guard helicopter off Mayo coast

Search for missing Coast Guard helicopter off Mayo coast

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

Update:

 

7.45pm – The other crew members have been named as Mark Duffy, Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby. All three are still missing.

5.15pm – The person recovered from the sea this morning has been named Captain Dara Fitzpatrick who was 45-years-old who worked in search and rescue for 20 years.

2.55pm – Inspectors from the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of the Department of Transport arrived at Blacksod Pier earlier.

Earlier: A massive search operation is underway off the Mayo coast for an Irish Coast Guard helicopter reported missing early this morning.

Dublin based Rescue 116, operated by CHC Ireland on behalf of the Irish Coast Guard, was reported missing after communications were lost at around 1.00am

The crew had been providing communications topcover for Rescue 118 out of Sligo, which was involved in airlifting an injured crewman from a fishing vessel 280 kilometres west of Eagle Island in Co Mayo.

Image: marinetraffic.com

The crew of the Shannon based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 is assisting in the search along with the Sligo helicopter, several lifeboats and fishing vessels.

A Irish Air Corps CASA fixed-wing aircraft is also involved while the Naval vessel LÉ Róisín is understood to be on its way to the search area.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D. expressed deep concern at the news this morning that there has been an incident involving a Search and Rescue Helicopter off the west coast of Ireland.

Minister Ross said; “As the search for the Dublin based helicopter R116 is currently underway I would like to express my sincere support and sympathies for all those involved, particularly those family members who are awaiting news of their loved ones.

This is an extremely difficult time for all concerned. As we await further information I would like to appeal for space to be given to the relevant professionals involved in the search operation to complete their work. Once again, I send my utmost support to all those affected.”

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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