Three bodies have been recovered off the Wirral and Blackpool which police believe belong to the missing crew of the Nicola Faith

Three bodies recovered from the sea are believed to belong to the missing crew of the Nicola Faith

The families of the missing crew members from the fishing vessel Nicola Faith have been informed that three bodies were recovered from the coastline off the Wirral and Blackpool.

It is understood that the recovery took place over the weekend, but it has yet to be confirmed if all three bodies recovered belong to the missing crew.

North Wales Police issued the following statement today saying:

“We are aware that the bodies of three men have been recovered from the coastline off the Wirral and Blackpool over the weekend.

We have been in contact with colleagues from both Merseyside and Lancashire Police, and we await the outcome of the Home Office postmortem examinations.

The families of the missing crew members from the vessel ‘Nicola Faith’ have been kept informed and continue to be supported by specialist officers.

We would request that they are given the necessary privacy at this difficult time.”

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.

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The three men departed the north Wales fishing town of Conwy on the morning of Wednesday, 27 January last and after the boat and it’s three crew failed to return home that night a search was launched by HM Coast Guard which included Rhyl, Bangor and Llandudno Coastguard Rescue Teams along with five RNLI lifeboats from Rhyl, Llandudno & Conwy. The HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Caernarfon assisted with the searches and a fixed-wing Coastguard aircraft from Doncaster. The North Wales Police also assisted in the search.

Two days later, on 29 January, the search was stood down pending further inquiries.

Earlier this month a liferaft belonging to the Nicola Faith was discovered on the south western coast of Scotland off Kirkcudbrightshire. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch confirmed the liferaft was from the missing fishing boat.

by Oliver McBride

 

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Nicola Faith families informed that three bodies have been recovered

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