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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 20 March, 2019
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Major search operation to begin Saturday for missing Rescue 116 crew

The Coast Guard, the LÉ Ciara and local fishermen will be involved in the search over the weekend.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A NUMBER OF emergency services and local fishermen will be collaborating over the weekend to try and find the two missing crewmembers from Rescue 116.

The wreckage of the downed Coast Guard helicopter was brought ashore on Wednesday, but there was no sign of missing crew members Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith.

This Saturday, the Coast Guard in Malin in conjunction with RNLI and Navy will assist with coordinating the surface search by a large number of fishing vessels that have offered their services.

The Naval Service ship LÉ Ciara will also be on scene ready to assist where required.

The Coast Guard is requesting all vessels in the north Mayo-south Donegal area keep a look-out for any debris in the course of their routine activities and to report any findings to the Malin Head Coast Guard Coordination Centre.

It’s thought that local knowledge of tides and currents will be crucial in the search effort.

Coastguard Helicopter Wreckage Found The Coast Guard reiterated the importance of adherence to basic safety by searchers at sea or onshore. Source: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Coast Guard has expressed their ongoing appreciation to the many volunteers supporting the search – in particular the RNLI and Civil Defence as well as the tremendous local community support.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was recovered 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.

With reporting from Paul Hosford.

Read: Wreckage of Rescue 116 brought ashore

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

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