Monday 23 October 2017

'We're gone': Hearing the final words from Rescue 116 matters

Criticism of the decision to release a transcript of the last sentences spoken by the helicopter crew is misplaced, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Final words: Mark Duffy
Final words: Mark Duffy

Eilis O'Hanlon

The last words of the recently departed have always been recorded for posterity. Comforting or inspiring, or sometimes just plain baffling, their final utterances are deemed to have value in their own right, not only for their families, but for those touched by the death.

It was no different when the last words of the crew of Rescue 116, which went down after impacting with Blackrock Island off the coast of Mayo during a search and rescue operation last month, were recovered from the helicopter's voice recorder.

Their final conversation was scrutinised for the most basic reason of all - to explain why the helicopter crashed with the loss of four lives.

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