Irish coastguard helicopter crash: Body found in cockpit

A body has been found in the search for three missing Irish Coastguard members after their helicopter crashed into the Atlantic.

The discovery was confirmed after eight dives were carried out on the wreckage of Rescue 116 off Blackrock island, about 13km off the coast of Co Mayo.

The body was in the cockpit of the helicopter wreckage on the seabed in 40m of water.

The body of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, a 45-year-old mother, was the first one of the four crew to have been recovered from the ocean.

The other crew members were Captain Mark Duffy, Winchman Ciaran Smith and Winch Operator Paul Ormsby.

Garda superintendent Tony Healy said efforts were continuing to recover the body.

"It's a challenging time for the families obviously they're going through a stressful time waiting for the recovery of their loved ones," he said.

Families of the crew have been notified and are being supported by garda liaison staff.

The back box, which holds the flight data and voice records, was taken from the wreckage on Friday and is being flown to Farnborough for analysis.

There was no apparent damage to the unit and it is hoped it will be known if there is a record of the flight by Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

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