By S.L. Fuller | March 14, 2017
An Irish Coast Guard Sikorsky S-92 operated by CHC Helicopter crashed off the County Mayo coast of Ireland while supporting a search and rescue operation. There were four crew members on board.
"At approximately 01:00, contact was lost with one of our SAR helicopters. A major sea search is ongoing off the county Mayo coast approximately six miles west of Blacksod. SAR Helicopters from Sligo and Shannon are on scene along with the Air Corps Casa. Ballyglass and Achill all-weather lifeboats are on scene along with five local fishing vessels," the Irish Coast Guard said on its Facebook page. "The Sligo-based Coast Guard helicopter R118 completed an early morning medical evacuation of a crewman requiring urgent medical attention from a U.K.-registered fishing vessel approximately 150 miles west of Eagle Island in County Mayo. Owing to the distance involved, safety and communication support, known as Top Cover, was provided by the second Coast Guard helicopter, the Dublin-based R116. The search operation is being coordinated by the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centre in Malin Head. Both helicopters refueled at Blacksod prior to transiting to the scene."
Coast Guard pilot Capt. Dara Fitzpatrick has been pronounced dead, while search efforts continue for the remaining three. News outlets have recently reported the three missing as Mark Duffy, Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby.
Sikorsky and CHC are reportedly working together to gather and distribute information.
"Earlier today, there was an accident involving one of our S-92 search and rescue aircraft off the west coast of Ireland," CHC said. "We are devastated by this morning’s tragic accident and our hearts are with the crew and the families of the crews involved."