Sunken ship found at sea in search of missing fishing boat with three fishermen on board
A sunken ship was found during a search at sea for a missing fishing boat with three members of its crew.
The bodies of Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were later found after Nicola Faith went missing off Colwyn Bay on the evening of January 27.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said on Tuesday a sunken boat was found about two miles off the coast at Colwyn Bay. It is believed to be the missing fishing boat.
A spokeswoman said: “A sunken vessel considered to be of significant interest has been located in the Colwyn Bay area by a vessel ordered by MAIB to search for the missing fishing vessel Nicola Faith. The Chief Marine Accident Inspector has issued a “Notice of Directive Deny Access” around the wreck, demanding that it not be disturbed until further notice, pending investigation more in-depth study of the MAIB.
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The Nicola Faith left Conwy to fish at Colwyn Bay, but a major search was launched when he was unable to return. Police last month confirmed the bodies found off the coast were the missing crew, and the families of the three crew members are being supported by trained police officers.
A MAIB investigation is continuing.
Investigations into the deaths of the three fishermen on board the vessel were opened in Ruthin on Tuesday and learned of the last moment the crew made radio contact before they disappeared. Their bodies were discovered on consecutive days in March following a major rescue operation.
The body of Mr Ballantine, of The Flat, Raj Indian, Lancaster Square, Conwy, was found on March 12, in West Kirby Beach, then on March 13, the body of Mr McGrath, of Vardre Hall, Castle Street, Conwy, was discovered at the South Promenade, Blackpool. The next day, March 14, the body of Mr Minard, of Marine Crescent, Penmaenmawr, was found at The Groyne, Meols Promenade, The Wirral.
Investigations into their deaths were opened by Chief Coroner for North East and Central Wales, John Gittins, who said Nicola Faith’s last radio call was at 9 p.m. on the day of their disappearance.
All three have been identified by DNA, openings of investigation have been heard and no provisional cause of death has been given. Mr. Gittins adjourned the inquiries to a date to be fixed.