Posted: Tue 13th Apr 2021

Sunken vessel discovered off North Wales coast confirmed as missing fishing boat the Nicola Faith

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 13th, 2021

A sunken vessel discovered off the coast of North Wales coast has been confirmed as being that of the missing fishing vessel the Nicola Faith.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) announced last week that the wreck had been found near Colwyn Bay and placed a a ‘Notice of Direction to Prohibit Access’, requiring it to be left undisturbed until further notice.

Following further investigations, the MAIB said it has officially been identified as the Nicola Faith, which disappeared without explanation in January.

Sadly three bodies were recovered from the coastline off the Wirral and Blackpool in March and later identified as being those of crew members Ross Ballantine, Alan Minard and skipper Carl McGrath.

Earlier today, an expert in finding shipwrecks shared sonar images which appear to show the vessel virtually intact.

Posting on Twitter, David Mearns said: “The exposed starboard hull shows no damage.

“Key features like the radar mast above the wheelhouse and high tower above the stern surely identify it as the Nicola Faith, to be confirmed by the MAIB and police divers later today.

“Many thanks to the team at SEP Hydrographic: Adam Gould, Emma Lamont, Kenny Walsh, Jamie Turner, Neil Adams, John Sadler, and Paul Dodd, for their highly professional service and excellent support of the families’ effort to find the Nicola Faith.”

Investigations into what caused the Nicola Faith to sink are ongoing.

Andrew Moll, Chief Inspector of Marine Accident said:

I understand how desperate the families of the crew are for answers, and now that the vessel has been found our investigation can focus on establishing why Nicola Faith sank. A large amount of evidence has already been collected and analysed, and a close look at the results of today’s dive survey should increase our understanding of the accident. Until this has been completed it not possible to say whether it will be necessary to recover the wreck for further testing.

I would to thank North Wales Police for offering their assistance in identifying the vessel and also Seecat Charters, Natural Resource Wales and Welsh Fisheries who have provided valuable assistance to the investigation.

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