As a Maritime Safety Organisation, Irish Lights share the devastation felt by all who work on the coast at the tragic loss of the crew of Rescue 116. They, their families and all involved in the ongoing operations are foremost in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.
Our staff at Blacksod Lighthouse are playing a key role in the ongoing search and recovery operation. The aircraft landing and fuelling facilities at Blacksod are an important part of Ireland’s Search and Rescue infrastructure. On this occasion the station is also fulfilling a role as a coordination, communications and support facility.
Irish Lights other assets such as our ship ILV Granuaile, our contract aircraft, our personnel and our technical expertise have been made fully available to the Coast Guard and the Air Accident Investigation Unit and will continue to be available for as long as they are required.
In dark times such as these the generosity and selflessness of our coastal communities is often the one light that penetrates the darkness. The response of the fishermen, voluntary services and residents of Blacksod and the surrounding areas is a beacon for all that is best about our country. May god bless and preserve all involved.
In the two weeks since the tragic loss of Rescue 116 and its crew Irish Lights staff and our ship ILV Granuaile have been working on an ongoing basis to support the search and recovery operations off Black rock. The families of the crew members are uppermost in our thoughts and we are determined to do everything we can to bring a successful end to this work at the earliest possible time.
Irish Lights is just one element of a multi-agency response to this tragedy. Granuaile is operating as a search and recovery platform for the Marine Institute ROV and the Naval service divers, as a control centre for the Irish Coast Guard, An Garda Siochána and the Air Accident Investigation Unit and will ultimately be used for the recovery of the aircraft wreckage. Our team at Blacksod continue to play a key role in supporting the airborne search operations and as a coordination point of all other activity.
In addition to the State agencies, the effort of the local community in Erris has been beyond all description and continues to exemplify all that is good about our coastal communities. We hope and pray that this operation will conclude in the near future.