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Tributes paid to Rescue 116 crew two years on from helicopter crash

Tributes paid to Rescue 116 crew two years on from helicopter crash

Tributes have been paid to the brave crew of the Coastguard Rescue 116 helicopter on the second anniversary of the tragic crash.

Blackrock pilot Captain Mark Duffy was amongst four crew members who died when the helicopter went down off the Co Mayo coast on March 14th 2017.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, winchman Ciaran Smith and winch operator Paul Ormsby all died in the tragic accident. They had been providing cover for a rescue operation at the time.

A massive search operation was carried out and Captain Fitzpatrick’s body was recovered from the sea within hours of the crash but she was pronounced dead later at the hospital.

Captain Duffy’s body was found in the wreckage off Blackrock Island by divers on March 26, 2017.

Sadly, the remains of Mr Smith and Mr Ormsby were never recovered.

Many poignant tributes have been shared today from several organisations, friends and relatives.

Dublin Fire Brigade shared a photo of the crew on Twitter, writing: “On this day, two years ago, we woke to the devastating news that the crew of Rescue116 were missing.

“Our thoughts are with all who been affected by the tragedy, especially the family, friends and colleagues of Dara, Mark, Paul and Ciaran.”

The Irish Air Corps said: “Two years have passed but Dara, Mark, Paul and Ciarán will never be forgotten. From all at the Air Corps to the Coast Guard and the families of those lost, we’re thinking of you at this time. Go Mairidís Beo.”

Captain Fitzpatrick’s sister, psychologist Niamh Fitzpatrick, also shared a tribute which read:”Four people who made the world a better place. Remembering them all today. Capt. Dara Fitzpatrick, Capt. Mark Duffy, winch operator Paul Ormsby, winchman Ciarán Smith. RIP.”

She also recently shared her final memories of Dara, urging people to spend time with their loved ones.

Niamh said: “Two years ago today, I last saw my sister alive. I can still see us chatting and laughing, no idea it was our final moments together. Dara died 32 hours later. The rest is noise. Love is what matters.

“Spend time with those you love. One day it will mean everything that you did.”

Carrybridge RNLI also paid tribute writing: “As tonight passes into tomorrow, two years ago, we lost four dear friends.