A spokesperson for the Irish Coast Guard has confirmed that the first fatal casualty of this morning Rescue 116 helicopter crash is that of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick.
Captain Fitzpatrick was recovered from the water in a critical condition early this morning and brought to hospital where her condition was described as critical. Gerard O’Flynn of the Irish Coast Guard confirmed the news this lunchtime as the search for three other crew members continues.
Cpt Dara Fitzpatrick on left
(Pic Irish Coast Guard)
Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was a senior pilot with the Irish Coast Guard who had over 20 years experience.
The Captain made Irish aviation history in August 2013 by flying the first all-female mission for the service. The Shannon-based search and rescue Helicopter R115 flew its first missions with female pilot Capt Dara Fitzpatrick and co-pilot Capt Carmel Kirby.
Capt Fitzpatrick was the chief pilot for rescue 117 at the Waterford base before she transferred to Shannon to build up flying hours on the Sikorski S92 at that time.
During the female flown mission, the duo flew a cardiac patient from west Cork to Cork University Hospital before transferring a critically-ill five-year-old child from the hospital to Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin.
Captain Fitzpatrick also featured on RTÉ’s documentary on the Irish Coast Guard.