The Air Accident Investigation Unit and An Garda Síochána in conjunction with Coast Guard have expressed their sincere appreciation to the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) and Marine Institute who were supported by GSI (Geological Survey Office), for the extensive search conducted in the vicinity of Black Rock lighthouse following the tragic loss of Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 on March 14.
The search operation conducted by the Marine Institute's Holland 1 ROV concluded this afternoon when the Granuaile departed Blacksod Bay.
Supt. Tony Healy confirmed that the Garda water unit would conduct diving searches in the vicinity of Blackrock Light as soon as wind and tidal conditions are considered suitable.
He also confirmed that he had requested Coast Guard and Civil Defence volunteers to continue with targeted searches of coastal areas and monitoring of specific areas of interest.
Gerard O'Flynn from the Coast Guard thanked all the statutory and voluntary organisations for their unstinting support over the past four weeks, paying special thanks to Coast Guard, RNLI and Civil Defence volunteers and Defence Forces assets including naval divers, ships and Air Corps. He added that the operation highlighted the value of inter-agency cooperation in meeting challenges of this type.
The Coast Guard also wishes to remind all mariners to keep a good lookout for any material associated with Rescue 116 and to report any findings to Malin Head Coast Guard Coordination Centre.
AGS, AAIU and IRCG reiterated their sympathy to the families of Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith and expressed the hope that with the extensive monitoring both at sea and on shore that the remains of Paul and Ciaran would be found.