Some of you may have seen the news of the coast guard rescue helicopter that disappeared (likely crashed) off the west coast of Ireland a couple of days ago while performing a routine support to a medical evacuation on a fishing trawler.
The pilot, one of the few female helicopter search and rescue pilots in the world was found in a critical condition and sadly passed away a few hours later in hospital. Her three colleagues are still missing.
I live very close to Dublin Airport where that helicopter is based. I regularly hear the sound of that helicopter flying overhead as it goes out on work; sometimes to basic routine training, sometimes to rescue a person or persons in trouble on our coast's waters.
We found out today that one of the missing was a former student of the school I teach in. By a sad twist of fate, another of the missing crew last year had given a talk to a primary school of the daughter of one of my colleagues.
These people, mostly volunteers, put their lives at risk daily to help save the lives of others, not only on the water bit also those who might need an urgent evacuation to a hospital in an emergency. Members of the U.K. Search and rescue forces, as well as Irish navy and those from the fishing communities are heavily involved in searching to recover the crashed helicopter and the three missing men, to return them to their families.
Just take a moment out of your day to pause, look to the skies, and think of those who daily give up their time and risk their lives to help those at sea.