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Displaying items by tag: Dara Fitzpatrick

#Rescue116 - British SAR contractor Heli Operations has named its latest helicopter in tribute to Capt Dara Fitzpatrick, who died in the Rescue 116 tragedy earlier this year.

The Westland Sea King HAS.5, codenamed ZA116, will bear the name Dara with the full support of the Fitzpatrick family.

In a tweet with the news yesterday evening (Saturday 9 December), Dorset-based Heli Operations said it “has a long working relationship” with the Irish Coast Guard “and many of our crews worked with Capt Dara Fitzpatrick.”

Capt Mark Duffy, winchman Ciarán Smith and winch operator Paul Ormsby also died after their Sikorsky S-92 went down at Black Rock, west of Blacksod on the Mullet Peninsula, in the early hours of 14 March 2017.

The bodies of Smith and Ormsby have not been recovered, though items of their survival gear were found in late September.

Published in Coastguard

#Rescue116 - Tributes have poured in for Dara Fitzpatrick, the senior pilot who lost her life in yesterday’s Irish Coast Guard helicopter incident off Blacksod in Co Mayo.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland earlier, sister Niamh Fitzpatrick, praised Dara’s love for her coastguard job “because she loved helping people”, as TheJournal.ie reports.

“It never occurred to Dara that she shouldn’t do this [type of work] because she was female, it wasn’t easy for her crew or her to be the only female in a male environment, but she was excellent at [her job],” said Niamh, a broadcaster with Today FM, who joined her family in vigil in Castlebar overnight.

President Michael D Higgins echoed those sentiments, saying in a statement: “We are all grateful for the courage, resolution and exemplary commitment to the aims of the Cost Guard that Capt Fitzpatrick and her colleagues have consistently displayed.”

Dara Fitzpatrick was one of the Irish Coast Guard’s most experienced officers, and one of the first women to fly for the Irish Coast Guard’s precursor, the Irish Marine Emergency Services.

Longtime Afloat readers will also recall the feature in June 1994 that highlighted Dara as a then 22-year-old co-pilot on helicopter rescues, four years after she began flying.

More recently, in 2013, Afloat.ie covered Capt Fitzpatrick’s pioneering missions as part of Ireland’s first all-female SAR helicopter crew.

Meanwhile, The Irish Times reports that searches continue off Blacksod in North Mayo today (Wednesday 15 March) for Capt Fitzpatrick’s three missing crew mates from Rescue 116 — who have been named as chief pilot Mark Duffy, from Dundalk, and winch men Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith, both from North Co Dublin.

Published in Coastguard

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