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Loss of helicopter crew a devastating tragedy

As the search continues for the missing crew members of the ill-fated Irish Coast Guard helicopter which crashed off Co Mayo, this dreadful tragedy is a reminder of the debt of gratitude we owe emergency personnel who put their lives at risk to save others.

Chief pilot Mark Duffy from Dundalk and winchmen Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby, both from Co Dublin, are still missing while the family of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, who was pulled from the sea but later died, have spoken of their heartbreak at their devastating loss.

The thoughts and prayers of people throughout Ireland will be with the families of the four crew members at this terrible time.

As the search efforts go on, the main focus of investigators will be on determining the cause of this crash.

It is important to find out why this helicopter suddenly vanished and the recovery of the black box flight recorder will be crucial in providing answers.

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