R116 crew remembered one year on

Wreaths to be laid in the sea near the crash site of R116 are handed over to members of the Irish Naval Service, by members of emergency services in Blacksod on Wednesday. Photo: Michael McLaughlin.

Wreaths to be laid in the sea near the crash site of R116 are handed over to members of the Irish Naval Service, by members of emergency services in Blacksod on Wednesday. Photo: Michael McLaughlin.

A series of events took place in Blacksod on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the Rescue 116 helicopter crash off Blackrock Island.

The crash resulted in the death of the four crew members on the helicopter, Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Captain Mark Duffy, Ciarán Smith, and Paul Orsmby. The bodies of Fitzpatrick and Duffy were recovered from the sea in the days after the accident, but the bodies of their two colleagues Smith and Orsmby have yet to be recovered.

A large number of relatives and colleagues of crew members traveled to Blacksod to mark the anniversary, which started with a candlelight vigil which took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning, to coincide with the time that Rescue 116 last made contact with the shore.

That was followed by a memorial Mass, which was held in Augleam church on Wednesday morning, before a commemorative event was held at Blacksod lighthouse involving coast guard personnel.

Following the commemorative event, members of the Naval Service brought wreaths to the LÉ Niamh, and the wreaths were laid in the water close to where R116 went down last year.

Investigations into the crash are continuing.

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