Dundalk as it Happens
Search resumes for Rescue 116 crew including local pilot Mark Duffy
The search for the remaining crew of the Irish Coast Guard helicopter which went down off the coast of Co Mayo in the early hours of yesterday morning is resuming today.
Amongst those missing is Chief Pilot Mark Duffy, from Blackrock, who is a father of two.
Rescue 116 lost radio contact without any warning around 12.45am on Tuesday morning.
Yesterday Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was pulled from the Atlantic off the Co Mayo coast, around 10km west of Blacksod. She was critically ill at the time but died a short time later.
The other crew members missing are Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby from north Dublin.
The Dublin-based helicopter crew was providing cover for another Coast Guard helicopter involved in an early-morning evacuation of a crewman needing urgent medical attention on a UK-registered trawler, approximately 240km west of Eagle Island in Co Mayo.
It had flown directly to the scene from the Irish capital, travelled 16km out to sea, then turned back towards land to refuel.
There was no indication of any danger moments before it vanished, with the crew’s final transmission: “Shortly landing at Blacksod.”
Visibility was described as not good at the time.
When the helicopter failed to arrive, a Mayday signal went out and Coast Guard helicopters from Sligo and Shannon along with the Air Corps maritime patrol aircraft Casa were tasked to the scene.
They were joined by lifeboats from Ballyglass and Achill, the Naval Service’s LE Roisin ship and five local fishing vessels.
Officials from the Air Accident Investigation Unit are also at the scene carrying out a full investigation.