The agony continues for the family of Oldtown hero, Ciaran Smith, who have maintained a constant vigil at Blacksod in Co Mayo, as they await news about the ongoing search for Ciaran and his colleague, Paul Ormsby.
The news that the missing crewmen of Rescue 116 were still missing after the lifting of the stricken helicopter, came as a major blow to the families. A major sea search continues and the news prompted Ciaran’s sister Orla Smith to issue a heartfelt plea to local fishermen to continue the search, particularly from Achill Island, as far as Aran Mór Island in Co. Donegal.
She said, “To all fishing vessels big and small. From Achill Island to Aran Mór. We are appealing to them to please come to help us now. We need them, we need their knowledge and we need them in the ongoing efforts to find Ciarán and Paul. “We need them and we need their help. We want them to go out and look in a co-ordinated fashion.”
“It is a living nightmare for all of us. For all of my family and Paul Ormsby’s family it is a living nightmare. We’re doing our best to keep going, to stay as strong as possible and to stay as positive as we can. But it is tough, it is really, really tough. We need those boys home now. We really do. My parents need him home, my sister-in-law needs him home. My nieces need him home. They have to come home now,” she said.
Many people from Oldtown and from all over North County Dublin have assisted in the search from the shoreline and schools all over the North County have made collections of food, drinks and provisions, which are helping to sustain the volunteers.
Marine Institute specialists on board the Granuaile, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána and the Air Accident Investigation Unit, conducted Remote Operations Vehicle (ROV) operations at the end of last week. Air, surface and shoreline searches are ongoing, supported by Coast Guard, RNLI and Civil Defence volunteers. The Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter conducted aerial searches the Air Corps are also supporting the search.