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'We need those boys home': Sister of missing Rescue 116 crewman appeals for search help from fishermen

Orla Smith – whose brother Ciarán Smith remains missing – said that she and her family were trying to stay as strong as possible.

Orla Smith said the search for missing Rescue 116 members has been a
Orla Smith said the search for missing Rescue 116 members has been a "living nightmare" for the family.
Image: RTÉ News

THE SISTER OF one of the missing Coast Guard Rescue 116 helicopter crew members has described the “living nightmare” of waiting for news of her brother, and appealed for fishermen along the west coast to assist in the search efforts.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Orla Smith – whose brother Ciarán Smith remains missing – said that she and her family were trying to stay as strong as possible but that they “need those boys home now”.

Crewmembers Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby remain missing after the Rescue 116 Coast Guard helicopter went down on its way to refuel at Blacksod lighthouse on March 13 as it prepared to assist in a medical evacuation mission.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was recovered at sea soon after the helicopter went down, but died later in hospital. The body of pilot Mark Duffy was found in the wreckage of the helicopter last week.

The wreckage of the helicopter was recovered from the water yesterday, but there was no evidence of casualties found under the wreckage.

Speaking today, Orla Smith said that it was very tough on the family when the men were not found in the wreckage of the helicopter.

“It is a living nightmare for all of us. For all of my family and for Paul Ormsby’s family it is a living nightmare,” she said.

We’re doing our best to keep going and to stay as strong as possible and as positive as we possibly can, but it is tough, it is really, really tough.

We need those boys home now. We really do. My parents need them home, my sister-in-law needs him home, my nieces need him home. They have to come home now. We need to find them.

Smith called on all fishing vessels on the west coast to assist in the search to find the bodies.

“To all fishing vessels big and small… we are appealing to them to please come and help us now,” she said.

We need them, we need their knowledge. We need them to assist in the ongoing efforts to find Ciarán and Paul, we need them, we need their.

Smith said that the families had been “cocooned by people’s generosity” and that stepping away from that outpouring would be like “going form a warm bed out into the cold”.

Read: Wreckage of Rescue 116 recovered but no sign of missing crew members

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