Recovery of sunken Nicola Faith fishing boat underway off Colwyn Bay coast

  • Watch: Video Report by ITV Wales journalist, Rob Shelley

Work is underway to recover the Nicola Faith fishing boat off the coast of Colwyn Bay after the vessel and its crew went missing earlier this year.

A platform, which includes a large crane, can be seen in the water and will be used to help raise the sunken boat.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) began raising the boat on Sunday and expect it to be fully recovered by Monday afternoon.

The Nicola Faith went missing with skipper Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, on January 27. The bodies of all three men were discovered several months later.

The boat itself was discovered on April 13, just 177 metres away from its last known position.

All three of the men's bodies were recovered from the coastline around The Wirral and Blackpool in north-west England. Credit: Family Photos

The MAIB said they had been gathering and analysing the wreckage since discovering it but "now intend to raise the vessel so that an in-depth examination and stability analysis can be carried out".

They added that it will be taken "ashore to a secure location for further examination" and the families of the deceased crew members had been told about the plans.

Relatives of the three men donated £11,500 of money they raised to the RNLI. They presented the donation to staff at the Llandudno RNLI station in early-May.

Llandudno RNLI volunteers, along with Rhyl, Conwy, Beaumaris and Hoylake RNLI crews collectively spent over 90 hours searching for the missing vessel.

Carl’s mum Julie, sister Lauren and partner Jake Cox said a personal thank you to the crew whilst handing over the donation.

Lauren said: "As a family we want to thank the RNLI and everyone involved in the search for the three lads, the work they have done is incredible and is indeed heart-warming.

"I am just glad we can finally lay my brother Carl, Alan and Ross to rest and we can try and rebuild our lives while remembering the memories all three have left behind."

David Mearns, a so-called shipwreck hunter who was brought in to help find the missing boat, described the wreckage as "largely intact". Credit: David Mearns