On this day in 2017, four people lost their lives off the coast of Mayo after their rescue helicopter crashed.
Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, co-pilot Captain Mark Duffy, winch operator Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciaran Smith all died when the aircraft crashed after hitting a small island of Blackrock just off Blacksod.
The helicopter was on its way to Blacksod for refuelling when the incident occured in the early hours of March 14th 2017.
As tonight passes into tomorrow, two years ago, we lost four dear friends. #Rescue116
We will never forget, we will always remember.
Spare a thought for all our Emergency Services as they go about their work, sometimes in the harshest of conditions.
— Carrybridge RNLI (@CarrybridgeRNLI) March 13, 2019
Half a year after the crash, a report into the operation of search and rescue found confusion among the different agencies involved, and 12 recommendations were made.
The final report of the the Air Accident Investigation Unit has yet to be completed, but is expected shortly.
Relatives of those who died will gather for an anniversary mass at St. Brendan's Church near Eachléim this evening.
Dara Fitzpatrick 1971 - 2017. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Pilot. Colleague. Warm. Kind. Loving. Funny. Brave. Loyal. Smart. Resilient. Professional. Loved. Missed.....❤️ pic.twitter.com/jKGY0E0sdl
— Niamh Fitzpatrick (@NFitzPsychology) June 15, 2018