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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 22 February, 2019
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'Forever remembered for the sacrifice they made': Rescue 116 crew honoured in Mayo

Four crew members died when the Irish Coast Guard helicopter crashed this day last year.

Updated 5.45pm 

MEMBERS OF THE Rescue 116 crew who died a year ago today have been honoured at a ceremony in Mayo.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Captain Mark Duffy, winchman Ciarán Smith and winch operator Paul Ormsby all lost their lives after Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 went down.

Rescue 116 crashed after it struck Blackrock Island off the Mayo coast on its way to a refuelling stop at Blacksod. It was due to refuel before taking part in a rescue operation.

The bodies of Smith and Ormsby were never recovered.

Among those remembering the crew are a Coast Guard cycle team that have been making their way from the Rescue 116 base in Dublin Airport to Blacksod.

mem1 Naval service personnel on the left and Vincent Sweeney, Commissioners of Irish Lights (right) at the memorial ceremony Source: Michael McLaughlin

The Commissioners of Irish Lights vessel the Granuaile and the LÉ Niamh of the Naval Service were both anchored off Blacksod this morning.

A memorial mass at St Brendan’s Church in Aughleam took place at 10am and was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony off Blackrock.

mem2 Michael Cattigan RNLI; Lt Commander Stuart Armstrong, Irish Naval Service; Garda Sinead Barrett; Michael Hurst, Irish Coast Guard; Vincent Sweeney, Commissioners of Irish Lights, at the memorial ceremony Source: Michael McLaughlin

The family of the crew passed the wreaths to members of the Coast Guard and gardaí before the wreaths were transferred to the Granuaile an the LÉ Niamh.

In a statement, the Irish Coast Guard said: ”Two brave souls were brought home, two remain lost to the sea, but all four will be forever remembered for the sacrifice they made. Our thoughts today are with the families, friends and colleagues of Dara, Mark, Paul and Ciarán.”

With reporting by Órla Ryan

Read: Coast Guard says it’s mindful of ‘devastating pain and loss’ felt by families of Rescue 116 crew >

Read: ‘A lovely gesture’: New helicopter named after Captain Dara Fitzpatrick >

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