Three bodies found in search for missing fishermen

Police searching for missing fishermen who vanished six weeks ago at sea say they have found three bodies which were recovered from the coastline off the Wirral and Blackpool over the weekend.

Ross Ballantine, 39, Carl McGrath, 34, and Alan Minard, 20, have not been seen since searching for whelks in the Irish Sea off the coast of Conwy, North Wales on January 27.

North Wales Police are in contact with Merseyside and Lancashire police and awaiting the outcome of the post mortem examinations.

The trio had been aboard the Nicola Faith which failed to return to port in Conwy, North Wales.

A major search was stood down two days after their disappearance when nothing was found.

One of the vessel’s life rafts was found off the coast of south west Scotland earlier this month, according to the Daily Mail.

That was recovered from Howell Bay near Kirkcudbright.

“The raft will be transported to MAIB in Southampton for further investigation and analysis. The investigation into the causes and circumstances surrounding the vessel’s loss is ongoing,” says a spokesperson for the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

“The search for the vessel, which is being co-ordinated by MAIB, is continuing. MAIB has been working with underwater search experts to cover a wide area including all of the vessel’s historic operating area.”

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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