Search stood down for missing fishing boat with three crew members on board off North Wales coast

Carl McGrath, Steve Minard and Ross Ballentine were reportedly the crew members on board

The Coastguard has confirmed that the search for a missing fishing boat off the North Wales coast with three crew members on board has been stood down.

A search, involving several lifeboats, a helicopter and a plane, has been in place since Thursday after the fishing vessel failed to return to port at midnight as expected.

A number of volunteers have been involved in the search

The three crew members on board the missing fishing boat were named online on Friday as Carl McGrath, Steve Minard and Ross Ballentine.

Duty Controller for HM Coastguard Rob Priestley said: “We have carried out highly-concentrated and thorough searches of wide areas off the north coast of Wales to locate this vessel – using all available resources – but, sadly, nothing has been found so far.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends and the wider community at this difficult time.“We would like to thank all of the teams and crews who have been involved with and participated in this large scale search effort since Thursday, as well as those vessels in the area and local community at large who have helped to provide as much information as possible to aid the search efforts.”

RNLI footage shows the search continuing on Thursday evening Credit: RNLI

Paul Frost from the RNLI told ITV News on Thursday that the scale of the operation was particularly large and spanned hundreds of square miles.

He said: "We've been searching an area between Puffin Island and Hoylake at the entrance to the River Mersey, up to about 15 miles out.

"It's over hundreds of square miles, normal lifeboat operations are between 15 and 20 miles but the various search units are criss-crossing the whole of the area."

The Coastguard confirmed the search had been called off on Friday evening

Family members of the crew on board the missing fishing boat have set up a fundraising page on Friday morning to raise awareness of the search and to raise money for the RNLI.

Lauren Hynes, the sister of crew member Carl McGrath set up the page and said: "On the 28th of January my brothers (Carl McGrath) boat with three of his crew members Ross and Alan were meant to arrive in the Conwy area around 11pm but did not show. 

"The last contact we had with them on the boat was at 9:30pm, we then tried to contact them again at 12pm but had no contact. We are working with the RNLI and police at this time. 

"The search has been going on for 48 hours we are getting extremely worried. 

"This page is to raise money for the RNLI as they have been working for hours and risking their lives.

"They have been absolutely fantastic and without them this search wouldn’t be possible."