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'A lovely gesture': New helicopter named after Captain Dara Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick’s sister Niamh said the family had been touched by the offer from Heli Operations.

Dara Fitzpatrick was the first confirmed casualty from Rescue 116
Dara Fitzpatrick was the first confirmed casualty from Rescue 116
Image: Irish Coast Guard/RollingNews.ie

A BRITISH SEARCH and rescue contractor has named its latest helicopter after Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, who died in the Rescue 116 tragedy earlier this year.

Fitzpatrick was one of four crew members who died in the crash at Blacksod in Co Mayo earlier this year. Her body was recovered shortly afterwards.

The body of pilot Mark Duffy was found in the wreckage of the helicopter some weeks later.

The bodies of winch operator Paul Ormsby (53) and winchman Ciarán Smith (38) have yet to be recovered.

Heli Operations said it had a long working relationship supporting the Irish Coast Guard, and many of its crews had worked with Dara Fitzpatrick.

The new ZA166 helicopter will be called “Dara”.

Fitzpatrick’s sister Niamh said the family had been touched by the gesture from the company.

She said: “From the first day she flew a heli, Dara utterly loved it. This is a lovely gesture in tribute to her. Thank you.”

Read: Searches resume for missing Rescue 116 crew members

Read: ‘We’re gone’: Final words of R116 crew released in preliminary report

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Sean Murray

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