Longford Scuba Divers are assisting this weekend with one of the largest open water and shoreline searches ever undertaken in the history of the state.
They are involved in a combined search effort for the missing Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 116 crewmen, Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby, along the coastline from County Mayo to County Donegal.
The wreckage of Rescue 116 was lifted from the seabed off the shore of Co Mayo at Blacksod last Sunday but failed to locate the two missing winch crew.
Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy also lost their lives in the tragic accident which occurred at approximately 1am on March 14.
The Irish Coast Guard, RNLI, Irish Air Corps, the Irish Naval Service and Civil Defence, search and recovery units from member clubs of the Irish Underwater Council (IUC) boats, aircraft, land search and UAV teams, were joined by more than 80 civilian vessels in today’s mammoth effort.
The large flotilla search for missing Rescue 116 crewmen Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby began at 7am.
An Irish Coast Guard spokesperson said, “The response to the search appeal has been incredibly heart warming.”
Co Longford Scuba Divers PRO Rose Kane told the Longford Leader, “Club members are assisting this weekend with the search. All efforts will be made to bring closure to the families, friends and colleagues of the missing crew.”
She added, “This Saturday and Sunday the search will be concentrated on the coastline at Galway (Aran Islands), Mayo and Donegal so all Diving Club S&R teams will have boats and divers assisting.”
The PRO also pointed out that owing to the members involvement in the search off the west coast, the Midlands Search & Rescue training day planned for Lanesboro tomorrow, Sunday, April 9, has been postponed to a later date.
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