Wednesday September 20, 2017
Irish Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds has paid tribute to the lives lost in the Rescue 116 and Kilkee tragedies ahead of his return from secondment in Somalia.“Not being at home and with my team in the Coast Guard has been very, very difficult,” he added.
“The Coast Guard has lost five colleagues to accident and one, Daithi O’Cearbhallain, to cancer. I’ve lost six good friends,” said Reynolds, according to The Irish Sun.
“My first intention on my return in October is to visit our volunteer teams, co-ordination centres and helicopter bases to listen and understand how we will move forward.”
Reynolds was seconded to Somalia in July 2016 as part of an EU maritime security mission in the Horn of Africa.
Two months after his departure, coastguard volunteer Caitriona Lucas died during a search operation in Kilkee when her RIB capsized.
Six months later, Rescue 116 crashed at Black Rock in Co Mayo, claiming the lives of its four crew. Capt Dara Fitzpatrick and Capt Mark Duffy were recovered, but the bodies of winch men Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith were not found.