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Signal from black box of Rescue 116 detected

Tue, Mar 14, 2017

A signal from the black box – belonging to R116 helicopter which crashed in the early hours of Tuesday morning, has been detected by rescue crews working to find the three crew members of the helicopter still missing since the crash . The box was discovered shortly after 4pm on Wednesday close to Blackrock Lighthouse

An operation to recover the three missing crew members of the Rescue 116 helicopter, which crashed into the sea off Blacksod in the early hours of Tuesday morning, was continuing today. Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (45), who was recovered in a critical condition on Tuesday morning after the crash, passed away in hospital later on Tuesday. Ms Fitzpatrick, a mother of a three-year-old son, was spotted in the sea by the Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter at daybreak on Tuesday and was picked up by the Achill based lifeboat and brought ashore.

The other three crew members are Ciaran Smith, Mark Duffy, and Paul Ormbsy. An ongoing search operation has been under way since the helicopter lost contact with its base before 1am on Tuesday morning involving Coast Guard helicopters, RNLI lifeboats, the Air Corps, Irish Naval Service, a marine research ship which is equipped with multibeam sonar that can scan the sea bed, and local fishing boats. The Dublin based Rescue 116, a Sikorsky S92 helicopter, had been providing assistance to another Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 118, which was undertaking an evacuation from a ship off the coast of Mayo and was returning to Blacksod to refuel, before it crashed. Throughout Tuesday a large amount of debris from the downed helicopter was brought ashore as the search for the three missing crew members continued throughout the day and night. Naval Service and Garda divers arrived in Blacksod to assist with the search in the waters which have a depth of between 30m and 50m in the search area, which extends out as far as Blackrock Lighthouse 13km west of Blacksod.


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