Crew of Rescue 116 remembered on second anniversary of crash

Today marks the second anniversary of the Rescue 116 helicopter crash in which four crew members were killed off the coast of Co Mayo.

The helicopter crashed after hitting the small island of Blackrock just off Blacksod.

The final air accident investigation report into the crash is expected to be completed shortly.

In the early hours of March 14, 2017, Rescue 116 was en route to Blacksod for refuelling after providing top cover on a medivac for an injured fisherman 250 kilometres off the Mayo coast.

The helicopter disappeared from radar screens at 12.45am prompting a massive search and rescue operation.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, co-pilot Captain Mark Duffy, winch operator Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciaran Smith were all killed when the helicopter ditched into the sea.

Six months after the crash a report into the operation of search and rescue found confusion among the different agencies involved. 12 recommendations were made.

The final report of the the Air Accident Investigation Unit has yet to be completed.

The AAIU says it is at an advanced stage and will be circulated, in confidence, to interested parties as soon as possible before being published.

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