A DRAMATIC rescue operation took place in the Atlantic is to be commemorated 50 years after it happened, 500 miles due east from its location - at the Bromore Cliff walk outside Ballybunion.
Local man Mike Flahive - a member of the Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue unit - remembers as a ten-year-old watching the huge Canadian aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure coming into the estuary with survivors of the crash.
28 American troops died and 48 were saved in a major rescue operation when an American troopcarrying Super Constellation crashed into the Atlantic 500 miles off the Ballybunion coast.
"It was a massive event in north Kerry at the time and I thought it would be important to remember it fifty years later," Mike told The
Kerryman. The commemoration is open to all, free of charge, and will see members of the Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue, the Irish Coastguard and clergy commemorating the dead and remembering the fantastic rescue.
The operation is still believed to hold the record for the single greatest rescue of human life following an air crash in the Atlantic. The commemoration takes place at the Bromore Cliff Walk - north of Ballybunion - from 1pm on Sunday, September 23 next.
Mike remains in contact with one survivor of the crash, Fred Caruso, who fell in love with Ireland and now lives in Glengarriff, Co Cork.