Search for R116 crew mem­bers be­gins again off Black­rock

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

FRESH at­tempts to find the bod­ies of miss­ing R116 crew mem­bers Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith have be­gun near Black Rock Is­land.

Re­newed sonar searches and trawl­ing con­tin­ued yes­ter­day around the crash site of the Ir­ish Coast Guard heli­copter that went down in the At­lantic off the coast of north Mayo.

Res­cue 116 crashed on March 14 with four crew on board af­ter it struck Black Rock Is­land 20km off the coast.

The bod­ies of the winch­man and winch op­er­a­tor were never re­cov­ered de­spite weeks of in­ten­sive seabed, sur­face and shore searches.

Also on board were Cap­tain Dara Fitzpatrick, the com­man­der of the flight who was pulled from the sea in the hours af­ter the crash, and Cap­tain Mark Duffy, the co-pi­lot whose body was taken from the cock­pit 12 days later by Navy divers.

With calmer sum­mer seas and swells in the area, a Done­gal-based fish­ing boat, the MFV West­bound, has been fit­ted with spe­cially de­signed nets as part of the op­er­a­tion.

The boat is also run­ning sonar sys­tems which it nor­mally uses for deep-sea trawl­ing.

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