THE life raft for a fishing vessel which went missing off the coast of North Wales in January has been recovered, it has been confirmed.
Skipper Carl McGrath and crewmen Ross Ballantine and Steve (Alan) Minard were reported missing after their whelk fishing boat, the Nicola Faith, failed to arrive at Rhos-on-Sea harbour on January 27.
A huge search by eight RNLI and Coastguard lifeboat and helicopter crews was stood down on January 29.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) confirmed today that the raft was located off the coast of Kirkcudbrightshire in Scotland.
A spokesman said: “The raft was found by HM Coastguard and has been positively identified by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch as being from the Nicola Faith.
“The raft will be transported to the MAIB in Southampton for further investigation and analysis.
“The investigation into the causes and circumstances surrounding the vessel’s loss is ongoing.
“The search for the vessel which is being co-ordinated by the 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.
“The next of kin have been informed of this development.”