Thursday 27 April 2017

Black box recovered as hunt for crew goes on

The Irish Coast Guard land at Blacksod Pier as the search continues for Rescue 116 along Blacksod coastline in Co Mayo Picture: Steve Humphreys
The Irish Coast Guard land at Blacksod Pier as the search continues for Rescue 116 along Blacksod coastline in Co Mayo Picture: Steve Humphreys

Robin Schiller

Investigators have confirmed that a crew member of the Rescue 116 helicopter has been located in the aircraft's wreckage.

Speaking late last night, they could not confirm his identity. Senior gardaí and rescue workers added that the two other missing crew members had not yet been located.

The three men - Mark Duffy, Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby - were on board the Irish Coast Guard helicopter when it crashed at the Blackrock island in the early hours of March 14.

Speaking at a media briefing at Blacksod lighthouse, Garda Supt Tony Healy said: "I can confirm that we found the body of a crew member in the cockpit section of the aircraft on the seabed. Operations will continue over night.

"It is not possible to confirm the identity of the crew member at this point," Supt Healy said.

The senior officer also met with relatives of the three missing crew members yesterday evening.

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"It's obviously a very challenging time for the family and they're going through a difficult time and stressful situation waiting for the recovery of their loved ones. They are being fully updated by a garda family liaison officer," Supt Healy said.

He said efforts were focused on retrieving the crew member who had been located.

Investigators are now close to establishing what led to the helicopter crashing into the mote island off the west coast after recovering the aircraft's black box.

The flight data recorder - referred to as the black box - of Rescue 116 was found inside the helicopter's wreckage at 4.30pm yesterday on the 11th day of the search operation. The discovery will help investigators to determine what caused the Sikorsky S-92 aircraft to crash.

Irish Independent

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