Ballyfermot man among three crewmen still missing off west coast

Ballyfermot man Paul Ormsby is among three crewmen missing since yesterday morning after the Irish Coast Guard helicopter they were travelling in crashed into the sea off the west coast.

One member of the four-person rescue team, Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, was rescued yesterday morning, but died at Mayo University Hospital a short time later.

R116 rescue four 15032017
Ciaran Smith, Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby

Paul Ormsby was a winchman aboard the helicopter, and Cllr Daithi Doolan said the whole community is in shock since the news broke yesterday.

“I think there is a real sense of sadness across the community,” he said.

“The news that Paul was from Ballyfermot took a little time to come through, but since then there has been an air of hope – hope that they are found - and a real sense of sadness.

“We’re all thinking of the families of those affected and their friends and colleagues at this time.”

The search for the three remaining crewman, including Ciaran Smith and Mark Duffy, continued throughout the night, with the LE Eithne appointed as the on-scene coordinator for the ongoing operation.

Special sonar equipment is expected to be used today in an attempt to locate the missing crewmen who have GPS tracking bugs attached to their overalls.

The major search involves the Irish Navy, the Irish Coast Guard, the RNLI and others.

Check out tomorrow's edition of the Echo for more on this developing story.

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