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CHC Pays Tribute After Helicopter Crash Pilot Dies in Hospital

Published in Oil Industry News on Wednesday, 15 March 2017


Graphic for News Item: CHC Pays Tribute After Helicopter Crash Pilot Dies in Hospital

Irish coastguard helicopter pilot Dara Fitzpatrick has died in hospital following a S92 Helicopter Crash off the coast of County Mayo in the Republic of Ireland.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was taken to hospital on Tuesday after being found in a critical condition by RNLI crew.

Unfortunately her condition proved too severe and she later succumbed to her injuries. She passed away early yesterday morning.

Mark Abbey, CHC EMEA’s regional director, said: “It is with deepest regret that we can confirm that Captain Dara Fitzpatrick passed away following today’s accident off the coast of County Mayo in the early hours of this morning.

“We are devastated by this morning’s tragic accident. Our thoughts are with Dara’s family and friends, as well as those of the three crew who are still missing.

“The extensive search and rescue mission is ongoing.”

The surface search for her three colleagues who are still missing has resumed this morning.

The aircraft lost contact at about 01:00 local time as it was coming in to refuel during a rescue operation.

The three other crew on board have been named as Chief Pilot Mark Duffy and winchmen Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith.

Irish coastguard search and rescue manager, Gerard O'Flynn said Ms Fitzpatrick was the most senior pilot with CHC which runs the contract to provide search and rescue services in the Republic of Ireland.

"She's been with the company for some 20 years and outside of her work as a pilot she did an enormous amount of work on water safety and was always available to do school visits and just highlight basic water safety," he said.

'Very dark day'

"For all of us involved in the coastguard and particularly, for her family and everybody, it does come as a complete shock, and we want to extend our sincere sympathy to all her family and indeed to her flying colleagues in CHC and simply to everybody who knew her."

Capt Fitzpatrick was the mother of a young son. Her sister, Niamh Fitzpatrick, paid tribute to her on Twitter and asked for prayers for her missing crew members.

Source: BBC

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