A sad day for SAR in Ireland. Spare a thought if you see a SAR Helicopter today and never take them for granted!

Irish Times

“Tragedy in Ireland – sadly  air, sea and shore searches are continuing this morning for the three crew missing from the Irish Coast Guard Sikorsky S-92 helicopter which crashed off the north Mayo coast early yesterday morning.

Senior Irish Coast Guard pilot Capt Dara Fitzpatrick (45), the mother of a three-year-old boy, died in the crash which occurred shortly before 1 am when the Dublin-based Sikorsky rescue helicopter was approaching Blacksod lighthouse for refuelling.

Rescue-116 – Irish Coastguards photo

The three missing crew have been named as chief pilot Mark Duffy from Dundalk, Co Louth and winchmen Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith from north Co Dublin.

The Irish President described it as a “dark day” in the history of the Irish Coast Guard.” –

from the Irish Times.

It will be an awful time for all SAR in Ireland and my thoughts go out to all the families and friends of those missing. I was very privileged to work in the ARCC  at RAF Kinloss and speak regularly to the SAR family all over the UK, Europe and other countries. We had a very close relationship with the Irish Coastguard and shared SAR assets regularly as you do in this small world. There are no political boundaries in SAR and it is a wonderful place to work, we completed many successful operations in my time. I attended a few SAR conferences in Dublin and met many of the characters, who made me so welcome as only the Irish can do.

I am sure that few think of the risks at times within an SAR operation and at times the dangers of the job that can be accepted as normal by the public. Sadly accidents happen and this is an awful time for all concerned. So if you see the red and white helicopter flying today give them, their crew a thought and a few minutes contemplation for what they do for us all on a day-to-day basis.

In this mad world that we live in these people are the best of the best and today we must share their and their families grief.

Thinking of my pals in Ireland and in the SAR Community world wide.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Friends, SAR, Views Political?. Bookmark the permalink.

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