herald

Saturday 20 October 2018

Sea crash pilot is saved by Cpt Dara

This daring rescue operation in Wexford is just another day at the office for Dara Fitzpatrick, Chief Helicopter pilot with the Irish Coast Guard (below).

Pilot, John O'Shaughnessy, walked away from this crash landing in the sea, just two miles from Tuskar Rock in Wexford. The pilot had to ditch his two-seater single-engine craft into the sea and was winched to safety by the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter just after 5pm yesterday evening.

The first woman pilot with Irish Marine Emergency Services, Captain Fitzpatrick said that it was a particularly busy day.

"We got a call while we were at training in Cork to say that there were several people in the water at Kilmuckridge," she said. "We were stood down from that and just as we were approaching the airport we heard on channel 16, which is the emergency channel, that a vessel, the British Orchid, had seen a plane ditching into the water."

"We didn't know what to expect. When you hear that a plane has gone into the water, you think that it has plummeted.

"But it was a very controlled landing, he was very skilled. When we heard that there was someone standing on the wing, we knew that he was ok."

"It's always nice to have someone alive. It's terrible to say but it doesn't happen that often," said Dara.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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