Video: Powerful scenes as R116 ‘Miles in Their Memory’ reaches Blacksod

Posted on: March 13th, 2018

R116 Miles in Their Memory cycle

After 347km, the riders gather at Blacksod helipad to salute the lost crew of R116; cyclist Ciarán Smith one of the four who died that day.


Emotional end to R116 Miles in Their Memory cycle in Blacksod


Emotional scenes have unfolded as the Miles in Their Memory Cycle reached Blacksod Bay in north Mayo where the Rescue 116 Coast Guard helicopter crashed one year ago.

On March 14th last year the R116 chopper came down, taking the lives of Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith, whose remains have not been recovered.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy also died; their bodies taken from the sea during the search.

On Saturday the Miles in Their Memory Cycle, 347km to remember the crew, left the Coast Guard helipad in Dublin Airport; R116’s base.

The riders rode across the country to North Mayo and into the Blacksod helipad. It was just off the coast there that the rescue flight crashed into the sea.



Those present held a wreathe laying ceremony. Many of them were with their children and were joined by supporters and members of the public who turned out to wish them well.

The riders were greeted with a ‘Heroes’ banner as they rode into Blacksod for the evening finish and ceremony.


R116 winchman Ciaran Smith

Ciaran Smith was a keen cyclist and was known to many in the Irish cycling community. He had taken part as a solo rider in the Race Around Ireland three times.

His first ride in the race was in 2013 when he became the first solo cyclist to finish the event. Ciaran was a winchman on R116 when it came down into the sea just off Blacksod.

He completed Race Around Ireland 2016 in 129 hours and 43 minutes. As a result, he placed 6th in the event.

Furthermore, the 38-year-old raised almost €10,000 for Aoibheann’s Pink Tie. It supports children and their families battling cancer in Ireland.


R116 Miles in Their Memory cycle

R116 Miles in Their Memory cycle

R116 Miles in Their Memory cycle