Troll leaves family of missing fisherman 'disgusted' after claiming to have shot at boat

A troll phoned the family of a missing fisherman to claim he had "shot" the boat he was aboard.Carl McGrath, Steve Minard and Ross Ballantine disappeared after heading out to sea from Conwy on Wednesday, with major searches for the men and the boat they were on so far drawing a blank.Mr McGrath's sister Lauren Hynes, and her partner Jake Cox, had posted their phone numbers online so anybody with information could quickly get in touch.But on Sunday Mr Cox posted on Facebook to say a troll had phoned him and said he had "shot" the boat.

Credit: Jake Cox

In the post, which he asked people to share, he said he was phoned on Sunday evening by a "young lad" stating he had information regarding the boat.

On Friday, Miss Hynes said that she would never give up hope of finding the missing fishermen and vowed to continue searching.She also set up a fundraising page for the RNLI, whose volunteers were heavily involved in searching, which has already raised almost £7,000.The decision was made by the coastguard on Friday evening to suspend the search for the three men pending further information, however the coastguard were called to several sightings of debris over the weekend.

Llandudno Coastguard Rescue Team said they were called at 10.45am on Saturday to investigate debris which had washed up at Conwy.There were also reports that there was debris at Old Colwyn and Deganwy which required investigation, they said.A spokesman said: "After further reports of debris in other locations, it was decided to have a team patrolling to enable us to react to anything which required investigating."The difficulty we face is determining the source of the various pieces of debris currently being washed up."It is not unusual for objects to wash up during periods of poor weather so we must keep an open mind as to their origin."It is important to stress, however, that we have not restarted the search."

On Sunday, the spokesman said they were joined by the Rhyl Coastguard Rescue Team and the Rhyl RNLI team in checking further reports of debris.Flint Coastguard Rescue Team was also alerted on Sunday afternoon to reports of fishing nets in the water, or on the bank, in the vicinity of Point of Ayr on Talacre Beach.A spokesman said fishing nets were not spotted during the search, but "a large semi submerged object was sighted out to sea some two miles off shore".They said Flint's lifeboat team was initially called, but light was fading and the object was becoming more difficult to see.

The lifeboats based at Rhyl then took over the search after completing a separate task, but nothing was found and the search was stood down.The major search for the three men was launched last Thursday after the group had gone out aboard the Nicola Faith on Wednesday evening and failed to return.After two days of searching, with boats and aircraft involved, the coastguard confirmed on Friday that the search would be suspended pending further information.And as Llandudno RNLI's crew returned to shore after their search efforts, those gathered at the base broke out in applause to thank them for their efforts.A candle-lit vigil was also held over the weekend.