West Cork's emergency groups pay tribute to Capt Fitzpatrick

March 19th, 2017 7:20 AM

By Southern Star Team

Happier times in Skibbereen when Capt Dara Fitzpatrick visited with her then colleagues in Rescue 117 Waterford. She is pictured with Skibbereen man Neville Murphy, winch operator with 117, and local ambulance member Brendan Leahy

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THE tragic loss of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and her crew aboard Rescue 116 off the Mayo coast this week has struck a chord with the members and crews of emergency services in West Cork.

In Skibbereen the staff and crew of the ambulance service remembered Capt Fitzpatrick and her crew visiting Skibbereen Boys NS  in 2011.

‘The Staff at Skibbereen ambulance base would like to offer their condolences to those lost and their families in today’s tragedy, and to the Irish Coast Guard – we are thinking of them in this tragic sad occasion,’ paramedic Garry Minihane said. ‘We had the pleasure of meeting Cpt Fitzpatrick with our colleague and fellow Skibbereen man Neville Murphy who now works with the Waterford-based Search and Rescue helicopter.’

Two West Cork fishing boats, the Eternal Dawn from Castletownbere and the Menhaden from Skibbereen, rushed to the area off Blacksod Bay earlier this week to assist the many other vessels that gathered to help with the rescue effort. 

In Union Hall the volunteer RNLI staff and crew offered their prayers for the missing crew and their families.

‘We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick RIP and we remember the missing crew members in our prayers at this difficult time. Since early this morning when we first heard the news, our flag is at half mast on Union Hall Pier. We also at this time think of all our colleagues throughout the Irish Coast Guard and send you prayers for strength over the coming days.’

On Wednesday, Union Hall RNLI said: ‘Say a prayer this morning for the return of the three missing crew members. Thinking of our colleagues involved with the search today. You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.’

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