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Wreckage of Rescue 116 brought ashore

The helicopter crashed three weeks ago while preparing to refuel at Blacksod, County Mayo.

A flatbed truck carrying the wreckage of Rescue 116.
A flatbed truck carrying the wreckage of Rescue 116.
Image: Brian Lawless/PA

THE WRECKAGE OF downed Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 has been brought ashore.

The body of the craft is being brought to the Air Accident Investigations Unit (AAIU) facility in Gormanstown, County Meath.

It crashed three weeks ago while preparing to refuel at Blacksod, County Mayo.

The wreckage of the helicopter was recovered on Sunday, but there was no sign of missing crew members Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith. It was brought to shore by the Commissioner of Irish Lights vessel Granuaile.

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

Investigators have been working on the theory that part of the tail section of the aircraft struck rocks close to Blackrock lighthouse before crashing into the sea.

Rescue 116 had been deployed from its base at Dublin Airport to provide top cover for the Sligo-based helicopter, Rescue 118, as part of a rescue mission to aid a casualty on a Scottish trawler on 13 March.

The helicopter disappeared abruptly from radar at 12.45am on the morning of 14 March while preparing to land and refuel at Blacksod.

Read: ‘We’ll do it as long as it takes’: Massive community effort to feed Rescue 116 search teams

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