Final Report on Rescue 116 Crash Will Not Be Completed By Anniversary of Tragedy

Ireland’s Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) have released a statement informing the public that a final report on the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 116 crash last March will not be completed by its anniversary.

The AAIU said a final report will not be completed in time due to “the depth and breadth” of the investigation.

On March 14, 2017 four crew members of the Rescue 116 tragically lost their lives after the helicopter crashed into Blackrock Island off the coast of Mayo.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was recovered from the water within hours and later pronounced dead in hospital. The body of one of the missing crew was found in the wreckage on 24 March and recovered by NSDS divers on 26 March after which it was formally identified as that of Captain Mark Duffy.

The bodies of winchmen Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby remain missing despite weeks of intensive searches.

The full statement by the AAIU reads as follows:

“The AAIU Investigation into the accident involving the loss of R116 and its four crew members at Blackrock, Co. Mayo on 14 March 2017 is still in the process of gathering factual and background information and is making steady progress.

“The AAIU again extends its condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this accident. International Convention, and associated National and European legislation, require that, if a final report cannot be made publicly available within 12 months of the date of the accident, an interim statement detailing the progress of the investigation and any safety issues raised, will be made publicly available.

“The AAIU wishes to advise that due to the depth and breadth of this Investigation, it will not be possible to issue a final report within 12 months of the date of the accident and therefore an interim statement will be published. The Investigation is endeavouring to issue this interim statement before the anniversary; however, it is not possible to say at this time when the interim statement will be published.”

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