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  • na grohmiti
    replied
    'We need to know that this can never happen again', says sister of R116 Captain Dara Fitzpatrick


    The bodies of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (pictured) and Captain Mark Duffy were recovered in the aftermath of the incident. Picture: Denis Minihane

    FRI, 03 JUN, 2022 - 11:11
    OLIVIA KELLEHER

    The sister of Rescue 116 pilot Captain Dara Fitzpatrick has said the conclusion of the inquest into the helicopter crash which claimed the life of her sibling represents the end of the "admin" of grief and now gives her space to deal with the emotional side of the process.

    Verdicts of accidental death were returned by a jury at the inquests into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash five years ago.

    All four crew members on board the helicopter perished when it crashed into Blackrock Island, off the Mayo coast, on March 14, 2017.

    A trained psychologist, Niamh Fitzpatrick wrote a book about grief in the aftermath of the tragedy titled Tell me the Truth about Loss.

    Ms Fitzpatrick said when you deal with investigations or inquests, the admin of grief can get in the way of the emotional part of the process because it keeps you stuck in that harrowing detail.

    "All the review board hearings and the inquest took me back a bit to the grappling place of grief. The psychologist in me understands that's okay," she told RTÉ radio.

    "I would say closure is not a word I would use. I would say the conclusion of investigations and inquests closes one chapter in grief which is the admin chapter but it makes space then for the emotional part of grieving because grieving has been paused and interrupted by all these investigations.

    "Even though they are necessary. They get in the way of the emotional work you have to do as a griever.

    I feel as if I have done a PhD on life and a PhD on people and pain and hope. We can find that balance between remembering and living.

    "My immediate family and extended family are such incredible people and our friends too."

    Ms Fitzpatrick described the last five years as haven been "harrowing".

    "Grief in any circumstance is difficult. And grief when there is an inquest and investigations and there were several investigations and two inquests - it is just gruelling.

    "It is necessary. We need it. We need to know that this can never happen again. So it is the safety of current crews and future crews so it is necessary. But it has been a very gruelling five years."

    She commended the "really tight ship" overseen by Coroner Dr Eleanor Fizgerald stressing that the inquest was efficient and sensitively handled. Ms Fitzpatrick also paid tribute to the jury.

    "The jury were excellent. Such a difficult job for them but they took their time. They asked for clarifications. They gave it the consideration and respect it deserved. And you could see it meant so much to them to do that.



    "I feel as if I have done a Ph.D. on life and a Ph.D. on people and pain and hope,"said Niamh Fitzpatrick. Picture: Mark Nixon
    "It wasn't an easy job because some of the evidence we heard was harrowing. It was very difficult to hear some of it.

    "Even though you know it beforehand. You have an idea what you are going to hear. Some details just hop out and it is quite emotional.

    "My heart went out to the jury and to the witnesses as well as the family members. But I think there is a relief in having that piece done with now.

    "We know with grief how somebody died impacts on how we grieve. If you look at people through the pandemic who lost a loved one and weren't able to say goodbye. All of those things impact."

    Ms Fitzpatrick admitted she found the statements from Achill Island RNLI crew who recovered Dara from the water very difficult.



    John and Mary Fitzpatrick, parents of Dara and Niamh, speaking to the media at Belmullet Civic Centre, Co Mayo, yesterday. Picture: Conor McKeown/PA Wire
    "It was very difficult to hear. But it is very necessary. Grief is very different for everybody. Some of us really need and want information. And some don't and that is okay. But for me, while it is painful it is also helpful if that makes sense.

    "I am a sister first. What psychology has done has made me understand some of the feelings that I have felt and continued to feel and maybe allowed me not to judge that. Because grief is very confusing. It is bewildering. it is such a tough journey. It is exhausting."

    The bodies of Captain Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy were recovered in the aftermath of the incident.

    However, the remains of Winchman Ciaran Smith and Winch Operator Paul Ormsby, remain lost at sea.

    'We need to know that this can never happen again', says sister of R116 Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (irishexaminer.com)

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  • Flamingo
    replied
    I remember 25 years ago the A&E in Haslar Hospital gave medical advice to ship's at sea by radio.

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  • DeV
    replied
    Originally posted by Flamingo View Post
    The thing I took from this is that the decision to send an evacuation helicopter was made by a non medically trained radio operator, seemingly without any decision-making algorithm or risk assessment process.

    A partially amputated thumb is not a serious injury - any bleeding would be easily controlled, and it would be far from life-threatening in itself.
    You’d think that they would at least put them in touch with Medico Cork

    https://emed.ie/Administration/Medic...Cork_about.php

    Leave a comment:


  • DeV
    replied
    Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post

    Last Nimrod retired in 2011. And that was an R1, not an MR1. Last maritime Nimrod Sqn stopped flying the type in 2010 Surely something the Coast Guard should know?.
    You’d hope!

    didn’t the RAF have a Hercules on call for top cover? That was the talk at the time of the Nimrod’s retirement

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  • na grohmiti
    replied
    Mr Scott also said that he tried to get top cover by the Air Corps and to get a Nimrod from the UK, but it was not available.
    Last Nimrod retired in 2011. And that was an R1, not an MR1. Last maritime Nimrod Sqn stopped flying the type in 2010 Surely something the Coast Guard should know?.

    Leave a comment:


  • Flamingo
    replied
    The thing I took from this is that the decision to send an evacuation helicopter was made by a non medically trained radio operator, seemingly without any decision-making algorithm or risk assessment process.

    A partially amputated thumb is not a serious injury - any bleeding would be easily controlled, and it would be far from life-threatening in itself.

    Leave a comment:


  • na grohmiti
    replied
    R116 helicopter crash deaths inquest hears visibility was ‘very poor and dense’


    (Left-right) Captain Michael Scott, Engineer Simon Sweeny, Tommy Fitzsimons and winchman Philip Wrenn arriving at the inquest (Niall Carson/PA)

    WED, 01 JUN, 2022 - 14:30
    CATE MCCURRY, PA

    An inquest into the deaths of four Coast Guard aircrew in the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has heard how the visibility in the moments before the crash was “very poor and dense”.

    Rescue 116 crashed off Co Mayo at 12.46am on March 14 2017, during a search-and-rescue mission with four crew on board, after it struck Blackrock Island, 12 miles off the Irish coast.

    At the time of the accident the crew were offering support to an operation to airlift an injured man from a fishing trawler.

    The inquest, in Belmullet, heard how visibility dropped fast in the area moments before the R116 crew were due to land at Blacksod to refuel.



    (from top left, clockwise) Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Captain Mark Duffy, winchman Ciaran Smith and winchman Paul Orsmby (Irish Coast Guard/PA)


    Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, the commander of the flight, was pulled from the sea in the hours after the crash and never regained consciousness, and the body of Captain Mark Duffy, the co-pilot, was taken from the cockpit 12 days later by Navy divers.

    The bodies of winchmen Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith were never recovered, despite weeks of intensive searches of the seabed, surface and shore.

    Vincent Sweeney, who worked as a lighthouse attendant at Blacksod, told the inquest how visibility can change in a matter of minutes.

    He said that visibility was some 400 to 500 feet at the time.

    He told coroner Dr Eleanor Fitzgerald that he often used reference points to check the visibility, as he had no modern or electronic equipment.

    He said of the visibility on the night of the crash: “It can happen (drop) very fast, it’s very bad. You could hardly see your arm in front of you.

    “It was more a mist that turned into a deadly fog. It was like soup. That happened within minutes.”



    Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (CHC/PA)


    He told the coroner that he waited outside the lighthouse for R116 to land but could not hear or see them.

    He said he became concerned when they failed to appear and tried to contact them with his handheld radio, but could not reach them.

    Mr Sweeney, who has worked at the site since 1981, said he contacted Malin Head to establish if they had heard from the R116 crew.

    Staff at Malin Head said they were surprised that the crew had not yet landed at Blacksod and within minutes they issued a mayday call.

    Simon Sweeney, Mr Sweeney’s son, said he travelled up a hill, away from the lighthouse, to check visibility.

    He said it was “very poor and very dense” and less than 20 metres.

    Mr Sweeney said he attempted to contact R116 three times but did not receive a response.

    In a statement read to the inquest, William Buchan, the captain of a fishing vessel, said one of his fishermen was badly injured when part of his thumb was amputated while out at sea.

    Ian Scott, a radio officer at Malin Head Coast Guard, received the call about the injured fisherman and he made the decision to request medical help.

    He told the coroner that he understood the casualty was “bleeding out, blood spurting and that he was in severe pain” and half of his thumb was gone.

    He told the coroner that he did not think the fisherman could wait the 14 hours to make it back to land, saying he thought it was a “life or death” situation.

    Mr Scott also said that he tried to get top cover by the Air Corps and to get a Nimrod from the UK, but it was not available.



    The funeral of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (Brian Lawless/PA)


    He also said the doctor he consulted about the injured fisherman did not object to his decision to send a rescue helicopter out to the boat, saying he would make the same decision today.

    Michael Scott, a commander of Rescue 118, told the inquest that while rescuing the injured fisherman he was told that R116 was missing.

    While making their way back to land, they passed close to Blackrock Island where “almost immediately” they saw strobes and debris in the water.

    Another member of the crew spotted a body floating in the water but they were unable to recover the body as sea conditions were too difficult.

    An investigation published last year into the crash identified “systemic safety issues” and made 42 safety recommendations.

    The investigation found that the aircraft was manoeuvring at 200ft and nine nautical miles from the intended landing point, at night and in poor weather conditions, unaware that a 282ft obstacle was on the flight path.

    There were “serious and important weaknesses” with the operator’s safety management systems (SMS) in relation to navigation and the reporting of safety issues, “such that certain risks that could have been mitigated were not”, the report said.



    The funeral of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick at St Patrick’s Church, Glencullen (Brian Lawless/PA)


    The investigation report found that concerns had been raised over the navigation system, the enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS), four years before the crash.

    Michael O’Hara, a member of RNLI Achill Island lifeboat crew, described the moment they spotted Captain Fitzpatrick’s body in the water.

    “We pulled the body on to the deck of the boat. The body was facing upwards in the water, the life jacket was fully inflated but was not wearing a helmet,” Mr O’Hara said.

    “We placed the body on their back, but they were unresponsive, there was no movement and the eyes had a fixed stare and hands were cold.”

    The crew then started CPR but Ms Fitzpatrick was already dead.

    Mr O’Hara said he had to hold on to the crew member who was attempting to revive Ms Fitzpatrick as the sea conditions were so rough.

    The inquest was also told that the helmet and lifejacket belonging to Mr Smith was found washed up on a beach months after the crash, but his body has never been found.

    A yellow helmet belonging to Mr Ormsby was found in the water by a fisherman some four months after the accident.

    A preliminary inquest was held in 2018 to issue death certificates for all four crew, and was then adjourned.

    On Wednesday, Dr Fitzgerald said it was “high time” the inquest was completed.

    “The families have been through so much,” she added.

    “It is fitting and correct that we have arrived at this day and everyone has been working well together and I want to pay high compliment to the Garda investigation team as well as the coast guard crew who endeavoured to bring all this together.”

    R116 helicopter crash deaths inquest hears visibility was ‘very poor and dense’ (irishexaminer.com)
    Last edited by na grohmiti; 2 June 2022, 10:24.

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  • Orion
    replied
    Anniversary 14th March - RIP

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  • TangoSierra
    replied
    Originally posted by DeV View Post

    Yes because that is what we should be worried about with regard to R116

    not the crew and their families, the IRCG, CHCI, IAA, Dept of Transport, the manufacturers of various pieces of equipment
    Speaks to the credibility of the organisation publishing the report for not having the equivalent of something as trivially basic as a spell check. Something that should be beyond reproach for reasons like you said.

    Moving on, surprising to read that the DTED data was sourced from Russian topographical maps.

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  • DeV
    replied
    Originally posted by TangoSierra View Post

    Not using https certificate, in 2021 - come on ta f**k
    Yes because that is what we should be worried about with regard to R116

    not the crew and their families, the IRCG, CHCI, IAA, Dept of Transport, the manufacturers of various pieces of equipment

    Leave a comment:


  • TangoSierra
    replied
    Originally posted by DeV View Post
    Not using https certificate, in 2021 - come on ta f**k

    Leave a comment:


  • DeV
    replied
    http://www.aaiu.ie/node/1551

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  • na grohmiti
    replied
    R116 report to question whether mission was necessary (rte.ie)

    'Respect is due to the crew'- Widow of R116 crew member welcomes publication of report (irishexaminer.com)

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  • na grohmiti
    replied
    Any chance of a report this year I wonder?

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  • na grohmiti
    replied
    Another year passes, still no report.
    Still sadly missed.

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