By Tony Winterburn • 15 March 2021 • 23:41
Three Bodies Discovered By Police In Search For Fishermen Missing For Six Weeks. image: FaceBook
Three Bodies Discovered By Police In Search For Fishermen Missing For Six Weeks.
The families of missing crew members from the fishing boat Nicola Faith have been informed after three bodies were recovered from the coastline off the Wirral and Blackpool over the weekend.
North Wales Police confirmed it has been in contact with colleagues from Merseyside and Lancashire police, and it is awaiting the outcome of the post mortem examinations.
Alan Minard, 20, Ross Ballantine, 39, and the boat’s skipper Carl McGrath, 34, were declared missing after their fishing vessel the Nicola Faith failed to return to port on January 27. A major search was launched when the boat failed to return but was stood down two days after their disappearance when nothing was found.
The search by the RNLI and Coastguard which involved several lifeboats, a helicopter and a plane was called off after two days on 29 January. Earlier this month one of the vessel’s life rafts was found off the coast of south-west Scotland.
An investigation into the disappearance has included sonar surveys. More than £55,000 has been raised on a JustGiving page set up by the families of the missing men to pay for a private search, led by deep water recovery expert David Mearns.
The expert helped recover the downed plane carrying Cardiff-bound footballer Emiliano Sala.
In an earlier joint statement on behalf of the three families, Alan Minard’s mother, Nathania said: “David Mearns and the private search will begin this week if the weather turns more favourable. David Mearns is working alongside the MAIB currently to develop the strongest search for the Nicola Faith.
“We are so grateful for all the support and generosity of the community. There has been so much activity around the fundraiser which in its self brings comfort and strength to the families.
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