Captain Mark Duffy
Dundalk man Mark Duffy, who was one of the crew members to lose their lives with the loss of Rescue 116 off the Mayo coast in March last year, has been recognised at the People of the Year Awards.
The Irish Coast Guard and the community of Erris were jointly honoured with special recognition for the crew of Rescue 116.
The honour at the 43rd People of the Year Awards, organised by Rehab, was presented by broadcaster Bryan Dobson in recognition of the heroic work of the men and women of the Irish Coast Guard in risking life to assist maritime and coastal communities, while the people of Erris were recognised for their contribution to the search for the missing crew.
The Awards were broadcast live on RTÉ One from Dublin’s Mansion House on Sunday evening.
Volunteer member Caitríona Lucas, who lost her life off the Clare coast during a separate operation, was also honoured.
It was early on the morning of March 14, 2017, that Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 disappeared off the north coast of Mayo. The aircraft had been providing communications support for an offshore medical assistance operation.
On board were Capt Dara Fitzpatrick, Capt Mark Duffy, from Dundalk, and winch team Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith.
Hundreds of volunteers, fishermen, and colleagues supported the emergency services in combing the area for the missing crew, going above and beyond in a bid to recover the lost heroes.
The bodies of Dara Fitzpatrick and Mark Duffy were recovered in the subsequent searches. However, tragically and despite intensive efforts, the bodies of Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby have yet to be recovered.
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