Events held in Co Mayo to mark R116 crash anniversary


Families of the R116 crew gathered at Blacksod to mark the first anniversary of the crash

A series of events have taken place in Co Mayo today to mark the first anniversary of the Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter 116 crash that resulted in the deaths of four crew members.

The bodies of Dara Fitzpatrick and Mark Duffy were recovered in the days following the accident last March but their two colleagues, Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby, remain lost at sea.

Relatives of the crew members who died travelled to north Mayo for today’s anniversary.

Dara Fitzpatrick (L), Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith all died in the crash

Around 100 people attended a candlelit vigil early this morning, which was timed to coincide with the time the helicopter lost contact with shore.

Relatives attended a memorial mass in Aughleam this morning, before travelling the short distance to Blacksod, where Coast Guard colleagues joined them for a commemorative event.

Wreaths were to be laid in water close to crash site at Blackrock Island

Afterwards, Naval Service personnel took wreaths to the LÉ Niamh, where they were laid in the water close to the site where R116 went down.

The events were attended by the multiple agencies that were involved in the search operation last year, as well as by members of the local community.

Crew members on board the Killybegs-based trawler, the Father McKee, laid a wreath in the waters off Blackrock Island this morning.

The gesture was in recognition of the work carried out by Coast Guard crews in the protection of fishermen.

Skipper Michael Kavanagh laid the wreath shortly after first light.

Separate investigations into the fatal crash are still gathering and reviewing evidence into the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Events to mark the first anniversary of the R116 crash began with a candlelit vigil overlooking Blackrock Island in the early hours of this morning

— Pat McGrath (@patmcgrath) March 14, 20



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