The entire nation is in shock following the tragic events on the west coast involving the Rescue 116 helicopter.
Rescue 116 is a familiar sight above the skies of Wicklow aiding the Mountain rescue and RNLI services.
Wicklow T.D Andrew Doyle said today our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the brave crew members of R116 Coast Guard Helicopter, so often the saviours, now in need of help.
On Sunday morning I saw at first hand Helicopter R116 involved in a rescue in the Wicklow Mountains of an injured cyclist with the aid of Wicklow Mountain Rescue. It was a real eye opener to see the whole emergency services interact together.
I would like to express my concern and support to the brave crew currently working in the search and rescue effort.
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said the thoughts and prayers of the entire nation are with the comrades, friends and family of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick.
The Ireland South MEP said people must hold out hope for the remaining members of Recue 116 who are still missing.
“As a member of the Fisheries Committee I know all too well the incredible danger the men and women of the Coast Guard brave to rescue people in trouble at sea,” she said.
“They have saved countless lives and always in the most difficult and treacherous conditions, whether at sea or on mountains. A fact highlighted tragically last year with the loss of Coast Guard volunteer Caitríona Lucas and now with the loss of the highly respected Captain Fitzpatrick.
“It is heartening to see that, as they have so often risked their lives to save fishermen in danger, several local fishing boats are also taking part in the search and rescue operations. Indeed Rescue 116 was providing cover for another Coast guard helicopter that was evacuating a crewman requiring urgent medical attention from a fishing vessel 150 nautical miles off county Mayo when they lost communication.
“For now, all the rest of us can do is send our thoughts and wishes to the family of Captain Fitzpatrick and pray for the safe return of her crewmates.”
Main Picture Tommy Dover Wicklow RNLI