Wednesday 13 December 2017

Coastguard community shock at helicopter crash

Fiona Magennis

Members of Drogheda Coastguard said they are ‘devastated’ at the news that a Coastguard helicopter and crew are missing and extended their thoughts to the families of all involved.

The missing helicopter, Rescue 116, would have covered the north east area and been a familiar sight in Drogheda and the surrounding area. It was frequently involved in rescue missions in the locality, most recently during a search for a missing man in the River Boyne last week.

It also offered assistance during the helicopter crash in Carlingford last weekend. One member of the four man crew of Rescue 116 was located on Tuesday morning. At the time of going to print, he remained in a critical condition while the search for the other three members continued. One of those on board is believed to be from Dundalk.

The local unit has cancelled their planned participation in the upcoming Drogheda and Ardee St Patrick’s Day parades as a mark of respect following the accident. ‘We were doing the parades in Drogheda and Ardee but because of what has happened we are standing down from those parades,’ said Dermot McConnoran from Drogheda Coastguard.

‘Everyone here in the Drogheda unit is absolutely devastated by what happened, we know them all very well and we just can’t believe it. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families,’ said Mr McConnoran.

‘It’s just hard to believe it. Our whole unit here, we’re just devastated thinking about it. We know these guys personally they come down to help us in search and rescue operations frequently and they come to the schools every year to talk to the kids about what they do.

‘They were out helping us last week there was a person missing in the Boyne. They actually spotted the person in the water and directed us to the scene, and they were here again this week at the helicopter crash in Carlingford.'

Drogheda Independent

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