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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019

Life jacket and helmet from Rescue 116 discovered by fisherman

The items were discovered by a fisherman one nautical miles off Achill Island.

Black Rock lighthouse
Black Rock lighthouse
Image: Niall Carson

A LIFE JACKET and helmet believed to be from crashed Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 have been recovered from the Atlantic.

The items were discovered by a fisherman one nautical miles off Achill Island last Thursday evening, according to gardaí.

It is understood the items were hauled in by the fisherman who discovered them tangled on board with his gear.

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 16 months ago.

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  Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby were never recovered.

A garda spokesman said the newly recovered items were handed over to gardaí in Belmullet, who are overseeing the investigation into the deaths of the helicopter crew.

A number of other items from the crash were found last October, but this is the first significant find of this year.

The crew was honoured on the one year anniversary in March of this year at a ceremony in Mayo.

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