Rescuers send sympathy to family after body of crashed helicopter pilot recovered

The body of Captain Mark Duffy is brought ashore at Blacksod Co Mayo after it was recovered from the wreckage of an Irish Coast Guard helicopter that crashed in the Atlantic
The body of Captain Mark Duffy is brought ashore at Blacksod Co Mayo after it was recovered from the wreckage of an Irish Coast Guard helicopter that crashed in the Atlantic

Rescue teams which recovered the body of an Irish Coast Guard pilot from the Atlantic seabed have said their hearts go out to the family.

Captain Mark Duffy’s remains had been trapped for days in the cockpit of Rescue 116 off Blackrock island, about eight miles off the coast of Co Mayo.

The wreck lies 40 metres down.

His body is the second of the four crew to have been recovered after the Sikorsky S92 crashed 12 days ago while on a rescue mission.

The body of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, a 45-year-old mother-of-one, was the first to have been recovered from the ocean.

The other crew members are Winchman Ciaran Smith and Winch Operator Paul Ormsby and searches continue for them both at the wreck site and along the north Mayo coast and into Donegal bay.

Superintendent Tony Healy said relatives were being comforted while the body is taken to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar for a post-mortem.

“It’s obviously a very upsetting time for them but I mean it’s the recovery of a loved one (which) is good news from that point of view but it’s a tragic loss,” he said.

Micheal O’Toole, Irish Coast Guard on scene coordinator, said: “It’s a very poignant day, very sad and very poignant, we have recovered one of our colleagues.

“Our hearts and our thoughts are specifically with the family today.”

The black box, which holds the flight data and voice records, was taken from the wreckage on Friday and is being flown to Farnborough in England for analysis.