Nicola Faith: Wreck confirmed as missing Conwy fishing boat

image captionThe Nicola Faith fishing boat went missing on 27 January

A wreck found off the north Wales coast has been identified as a fishing boat that sank more than two months ago with three crew on board.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) confirmed the wreck is that of the Nicola Faith, which failed to return to port in Conwy.

The bodies of Alan Minard, 20, Ross Ballantine, 39, and skipper Carl McGrath, 34, were all found in March.

The MAIB is investigating to find out why the vessel sank, in January.

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image captionThe bodies of Alan Minard, Ross Ballantine and Carl McGrath were discovered last month

Last week, the MAIB said it had found a "sunken vessel of interest" in the Colwyn Bay area.

The Nicola Faith is 1.9 nautical miles (2.2 miles) off the coast of Rhos Point, having failed to return to port on 27 January.

Andrew Moll, chief executive of the MAIB, 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."

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Earlier David Mearns, who has led a private search for the Nicola Faith, said the images of the wreck showed the ship was "largely intact" and the exposed hull showed "no damage".

Mr Mearns found the wreckage of the plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala that went down off the coast of Guernsey in 2019.

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