Sunken boat discovered in Colwyn Bay in search for missing Nicola Faith fishing vessel

The Nicola Faith fishing vessel went missing off the coast of North Wales after failing to return to shore on 27 January.

Teams searching for the missing fishing boat Nicola Faith have discovered a sunken vessel in the Colwyn Bay area.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said the discovery is "deemed to be of significant interest".

A 200m cordon has been put in place around the wreck while investigations are carried out.

The Nicola Faith fishing vessel went missing off the coast of North Wales after failing to return to shore on 27 January.

The three fishermen that were on board all died.

The bodies of 20-year-old Alan Minard, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Carl McGrath, 34, were also recovered from the coastline around The Wirral

The body of 20-year-old Alan Minard was found on The Wirral in North-West England on 30 March - more than two months after the vessel went missing.

The bodies of the two other crew members, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Carl McGrath, 34, were also recovered from the coastline around The Wirral and Blackpool several weeks ago.

Last month one of the vessel's life rafts was found off the coast of south west Scotland.

A private search for the fishing vessel was being carried out and was being led by a deep-sea recovery expert who helped recover the downed plane carrying Cardiff-bound footballer Emiliano Sala.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch was also carrying out an investigation and has been involved in searches off the coast of north Wales.

Last month one of the vessel's life rafts was found off the coast of south west Scotland. Credit: MAIB

Following the discovery on Tuesday 6 April, the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has issued a ‘Notice of Direction to Prohibit Access’ around the wreck requiring that it be left undisturbed until further notice.

This means the following are prohibited in a 200m radius around the wreck:

  • Anchoring in the vicinity of the wreck

  • Fishing by nets, trawls or lines in the vicinity of the wreck, and any

  • Diving operations on the wreck or its outlying gear

A spokesperson for the Marine Accident Investigation Branch said:

"A sunken vessel deemed to be of significant interest has been located in the Colwyn Bay area by an MAIB commissioned vessel searching for the missing fishing vessel Nicola Faith. The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has issued a ‘Notice of Direction to Prohibit Access’ around the wreck requiring that it be left undisturbed until further notice, pending further investigation by the MAIB."


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