Rescue 116 company warns Black Sod crash could affect revenue

CHC Ireland fears 2017 accident ‘could result in legal and regulatory proceedings’

CHC Ireland  operates a €500 million State contract to provide search and rescue services for the Irish Coast Guard from four main bases.

CHC Ireland operates a €500 million State contract to provide search and rescue services for the Irish Coast Guard from four main bases.

 

The search and rescue firm that lost four crew members on the crashed Rescue 116 Sikorsky helicopter fears the 2017 accident “could result in legal and regulatory proceedings”.

In accounts filed with the Companies Office, CHC Ireland DAC states that such proceedings “could materially affect our revenue and profitability”.

The note states “it is too early to determine the extent of the impact of the accident on our results of operations or financial condition based on information currently available”.

The business operates a €500 million State contract to provide search and rescue (SAR) services for the Irish Coast Guard from four main bases.

CHC Ireland says the “tragic accident” that occurred on March 14th, 2017, near Black Sod, Co Mayo, is the subject of two investigations – one by the Air Accident Investigations Unit (AAIU) and a second being jointly conducted by An Garda Síochána and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

The bodies of Capt Dara Fitzpatrick and Capt Mark Duffy were recovered but a large-scale recovery operation failed to locate the bodies of winch operator Paul Ormsby and winch-man Ciaran Smith.

The AAIU circulated its final draft report last autumn and the Department of Transport recently confirmed that a review of the final draft report is to be carried out.

Stakeholders were informed earlier this month of a delay in publishing the final report, when the AAIU confirmed an “interested party” had served notice of re-examination in relation to “specific findings and conclusions contained in the draft final report”.

The CHC filings show that the company recorded a pretax loss of €1.76 million in the 12 months to the end of last April. The company narrowed its pretax losses by 36 per cent after increasing revenue by 4.5 per cent from €51.1 million to €53.47 million.

The directors state that flight hours for SAR services were 2,911 hours last year compared to 2,600 hours in the previous year.

The loss last year takes account of operating lease of aircraft costs of €15 million and non-cash depreciation costs of €850,000. The company had shareholder funds of €8.7 million that included cash of €6.1 million at the end of April.