----- The Voice of Ireland's Fishing Industry and Maritime Community - Published Monthly, Established 1989 -----

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April 2017 Issue - Vol 29 No.11

April 2017 issue in all good stockists

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Marine Times Newspaper
Editor: Mark Mc Carthy
Assitant Editor: Tom MacSweeney

Features Editor / Advertising: Anne Murray

The Marine Times Newspaper is published by Marine Media Ltd.
Cranny Road, Inver, Co. Donegal
T: 074 9736899 / 9732635
E: marinetimes@eircom.net




Francis O'Donnell
Chief Executive, Irish Fishermens Producers Organisation

“The fishing industry is privileged to have such brilliant people in the rescue services.”

April 2017 Issue Vol 29 No. 11

We take much for granted in 2017 having reached an era of near-instant communication. Machines and communication routes don’t work on their own. Hard-working, family-orientated and ordinary decent people make these systems work and in particular when it comes to safety at sea for all marine users. We often forget those very people have family like you and I, friends like you and I.

On the 14th of March Captain Mark Duffy, Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and colleagues Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby attached to the Irish Coast Guard left their Dublin base by helicopter to carry out support for what we have come to consider as a routine rescue of a fishermen injured on a fishing vessel one hundred and fifty miles off the west coast of Ireland.

We all go about our day-to-day business not thinking that at some point on a given-day someone somewhere will get into a tricky or life-threatening situation. We make that phone call for help knowing that the most professional and hard-working people will start an operation to close the gap between the person in need of help and them with the sole focus of bringing that person back safely.

Their DNA is unique, it comprises of putting their own lives at risk to save others without giving it a second thought. They wouldn’t have it any other way. They are special people gifted by an unequalled lack of selfishness.

Very sadly on this occasion the rescuers themselves got into difficulty. Recovering the entire crew became the primary objective after their tragic loss, with the secondary objective of trying to understand what actually caused the accident. We owe our very deep gratitude to all of the crew of rescue helicopter 116, to all of their colleagues and to all the rescue services in general. This accident has brought into sharp focus, as it has done many times in the past for the Irish Fishing industry, the pain experienced by families and loved ones when people are tragically lost while doing their job.

This is particularly heart-wrenching for sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, close friends. Behind the person there is a whole world that collapses when, suddenly in situations like this, there is debris everywhere.

The Irish Fishing industry is extremely privileged to have such brilliant people across all of the rescue services, available to them when in need of help. Many give their time on a voluntary basis while others are full-time employees. Either way they provide a professional service and never waver in their commitment to bringing injured people or those who have been tragically lost back to their loved ones. We are deeply indebted to all of these people and in particular to the crew of rescue helicopter 116.

Captain Mark Duffy, Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, winch men Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby were some of the top lifesavers in Ireland and it is certainly poignant that they lost their lives doing what they loved the most, helping others. On behalf of my own organisation and the Irish Fishing industry I would like to offer our sincere condolences to their respective families, friends and colleagues in what is a very painful time for them.