Date Published : March 26th, 2017 Published By : admin
The body of one of the missing crew members of the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 116 helicopter has been recovered and removed from the wreckage of the helicopter. Divers recovered the body following extensive operations overnight.
The identity of the recovered body has not yet been formally identified by gardaí.
The Marine Institute's Holland 1 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) was deployed to the wreckage late last night and operated through the night and is said to have made good progress with recovery efforts.
Sea swells prevented divers from accessing the wreckage yesterday at Blockrock Island, where the wreckage has been located 40 metres below sea level, this morning however, sea conditions are said to be favorable.
The missing crew members are Captain Mark Duffy, winchman Ciarán Smith and winch operator Paul Ormsby. Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was recovered from the water on Tuesday 14th March where she later died in hospital from her injuries.
The helicopters Blackbox was recovered on Friday afternoon and is being analysed by experts to ascertain what information can prove significant to investigators.
Additional underwater cameras are now being used to survey a wider area around what remains of the Coast Guard rescue helicopter and if any evidence is found, divers will embark to carry out more detailed underwater investigations.
Safety of divers is paramount at this stage, given the complexity of the recovery operation and sea conditions.
Pic: (Civil Defence SUA Units in Mayo)
Photos: (Courtesy Mayo Civil Defence and inset via Laois Civil Defence)
Nine Civil Defence drone units involved in operation
Onshore searches are also ongoing and nine units from the national SUA teams of the Civil Defence have been deployed to assist in the search operation in the Belmullet Peninsula earlier this week.
The Civil Defence National Technical Officer Kevin Houston and Mayo Civil Defence Officer Rose Doherty have been working closely with An Garda Síochána, the Irish Coast Guard, the Air Accident Investigation Unit and the Commissioner of Irish Lights this week with operational support from the Civil Defence regional drone teams.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, Minister Paul Kehoe and the Secretary General at the Department of Defence met with Civil Defence teams this week and have acknowledged the efforts by all rescues involved in the recovery operation.
Mayo County Council’s Chief Executive Peter Hynes is briefed on the search and recovery operation and the involvement of the voluntary services on an ongoing basis.
The discovery and recovery of this body from the wreckage is the start of some closure for one family, but the agonising wait for two others continues.