Three helicopter crew missing in Ireland

Kristopher Drake
March 16, 2017

A sister of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, who died yesterday when an Irish Coast Guard helicopter crashed off Mayo, has said that while her family are heartbroken, they had "no regrets where Dara is concerned" because she had lived her life to the full.

Limerick City Fire and Rescue posted "Today our Flag flies at half mast for our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard".

He began flying rescue missions with his Dublin-based unit in 2002.

One person has been rescued with three still missing. A fact highlighted tragically past year with the loss of Coast Guard volunteer Caitríona Lucas and now with the loss of the highly respected Captain Fitzpatrick. "We are devastated. Please pray for recovery of 3 remaining crew", she tweeted.

The helicopter, a relatively new Sikorsky S92, was operated by CHC Helicopters under contract to the Irish Coast Guard.

They were joined by lifeboats from Ballyglass and Achill, the Naval Service's LE Roisin ship and five local fishing vessels.

The Taoiseach has also been paying tribute to Captain Dara Fitzpatrick.

Two SAR helicopters, as well as a number of vessels, have been searching for the missing crew members.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said Capt Fitzpatrick wanted to be a mother, so she adopted a son and she adored him.

Tragedy struck on Monday when Rescue 116 was tasked to provide "top cover" in a mission to recover a fisherman injured on an ship that was part of an worldwide blue whiting fleet working 250km west of the Mayo coast.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said: "Today is one of the darkest days suffered by our courageous, committed emergency services". Both helicopters refuelled at Blacksod prior to transiting to the scene'.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has issued a statement expressing support and sympathy to everyone involved, particularly family members awaiting news of their loved ones.

"My thoughts are with her family at this hard moment and also with the families of the missing crew".

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, the first named victim of the Coast Guard crash, was a ground-breaking pilot well known for her starring role in a fly-on-the-wall television show about the life-saving service.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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