In 2013, John Carbury, was out for a run while holidaying in Cork when he had a cardiac arrest. Having been resuscitated by the local GP, he was transferred to the playing pitch of the local GAA club, O’Donovan Rossa, where an emergency helicopter was waiting to transfer him to Cork University Hospital.
That helicopter was piloted by Captain Dara Fitzpatrick.
“The first thing I noticed when I was being transferred into the helicopter was the reassuring lovely smile and glance over her shoulder she gave me. That was Dara Fitzpatrick. It had a relaxing effect on me; it contrasted with the mayhem and hyperactivity that preceded it.”
Speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke, it was clear that John Carbury was simply in awe of the scale, professionalism and good grace of the helicopter crew and its captain. And John, one of many whose lives have been saved by a rescue services, was distraught at the news of the tragic death of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick.
“I was absolutely shocked. Here was someone that had saved my life. I couldn’t believe the expertise and professionalism that was shown by Dara Fitzpatrick and her crew… If it wasn’t for that skill and expertise, I certainly would not be alive today. No question about it. I owe my life to all the crew, and especially to Dara Fitzpatrick.”
If you heard this morning’s interview with Captain Dara Fitzpatrick’s sister, Niamh, on Morning Ireland, you will know how much words like these mean to her family. She was a woman who adored what she did and she was extraordinarily committed to her role in the rescue services.
At the time of writing, continuing efforts are being made to locate her three fellow crew members of Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116, Captain Mark Duffy, winchman Ciarán Smith and winch operator Paul Ormsby. The helicopter went missing on Tuesday morning.
Captain Fitzpatrick is survived by her three-year-old son, her parents, three sisters, and one brother.
To listen to the full interview, click here.
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