Saturday 29 April 2017

Major sea search fails to find two missing Rescue 116 crewmen

Volunteers searching at Elly Bay Atlantic Beach, about 6km north of Blacksod
Volunteers searching at Elly Bay Atlantic Beach, about 6km north of Blacksod
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A major sea search involving 110 boats off the north west coast of Ireland has failed to locate the two missing crewmen from Rescue 116.

Members of the Coast Guard, gardaí, the RNLI and local fishermen all took part in what was described as "one of the largest searches ever undertaken".

Crewmen Ciarán Smith (38) and Paul Ormsby (53) have still not been found since their Rescue 116 helicopter crashed into Blackrock Island in the early hours of March 14.

The search today, which stretched from Achill Island in Mayo to Aranmore Island in Donegal, followed an appeal from relatives of the crew members for assistance from coastal communities.

From the air, the Shannon and Sligo based rescue helicopters searched the Atlantic coastline.

Volunteers on foot also scanned the coastline for any trace of the two crew members.

The map breaks down the search zones, each zone has a responsible coordinator. Vessels are required to check in with the relevant coordinator for their zone before commencing search operations and again when standing down Photo: Irish Coast Guard
The map breaks down the search zones, each zone has a responsible coordinator. Vessels are required to check in with the relevant coordinator for their zone before commencing search operations and again when standing down Photo: Irish Coast Guard

Orla Smith, the sister of Ciarán Smith, told RTÉ News that the support shown today had given the family renewed hope of finding her brother and Mr Ormsby.

"They have rescued us from hopelessness," she said.

A detailed search of the sea bed around Blackrock island is still underway.

In a statement the Irish Coast Guards said they are asking all mariners in the Donegal/Mayo area to keep a "good 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".

The Coast Guard also reiterated the importance of adherence to basic safety by all searchers be they afloat or on shore.

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

Online Editors

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News