Tag Archives: F/V Nicola Faith

F/V Nicola Faith: The deadly mistakes that led to the boat capsizing and killing three men

A report into the death of three men who died in the Nicola Faith sinking tragedy has been published. The deaths sent shockwaves through the fishing industry after the boat capsized and sank. Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, lost their lives on board the vessel after it left Conwy Harbour on January 27 last year. It later sunk 1.9 miles north of Rhos-on-Sea, near Colwyn Bay. The 58-page report, written by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) highlights a series of operational failings as Mr McGrath sought extra productivity in his bid to buy the boat outright. Here, below, we set out a timeline of events that led to the tragedy. It covers in detail the day of the boat’s disappearance and the subsequent search operation. >click to read< 12:40

F/V Nicola Faith: Fisherman’s ‘harsh working conditions’ revealed in investigation

Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were on board the Nicola Faith when it left Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021. It capsized and sank 1.9 miles north of Rhos-on-Sea. A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch found skipper Carl McGrath pushed his crew harder than most in search of greater productivity. Aged 34, Mr McGrath had been the boat’s skipper for some three years. Previously a builder and steel fabricator, he had had no fishing experience prior to skippering the Nicola Faith. Despite this, he had completed all mandatory fishing industry safety training courses. Neither had Ross Ballantine, 39, any prior experience of fishing before taking a job on the Nicola Faith, on which he had been working for about eight months. The youngest crew member was Alan Minard, 20, who had been crewing on Nicola Faith for just two weeks. >click to read< 14:00

F/V Nicola Faith investigation complete almost a year after wreck was raised

The investigation into the sinking Nicola Faith fishing boat which claimed the lives of its crew is now complete almost one year after the vessel was found. Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were on board the vessel when it left Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021. The wreckage was lifted from the seabed last May in a two day operation before being transported to a secure location for further investigation. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch are due to report their findings in a report to be published in the coming weeks. >click to read< 09:08

F/V Nicola Faith: Grieving families in lasting legacy vow on anniversary of dreadful tragedy

One year ago today three fishermen went to sea on the F/V Nicola Faith and they never returned home. The boat set off from Conwy Harbour on January 27, 2021 to fish the seas off Colwyn Bay. On the anniversary of that terrible day, the families of the three men have revealed the pain and anguish of the last 12 months and their determination to create a lasting legacy to their boys. They recently attended a “man-overboard recovery and life jacket training” session at the RNLI’s their purpose-built college in Poole. In an interview with the RNLI, Ross Ballantine’s sister Lowri Taylor said: “One year on, we’re wanting to create a lasting legacy to the boys and use our experience to share our story and hopefully save more lives. photos, video, >click to read< 21:24

F/V Nicola Faith: Families to set up charity to improve sea safety

Alan Minard, Ross Ballantine, and Skipper Carl McGrath died after their boat, the F/V Nicola Faith, sank off Colwyn Bay in January. Their relatives plan to work with organisations and launch a charity to improve safety at sea in their memory. “We will campaign and explore for change,” the men’s families said.,, Nathania Minard, mother of Alan Minard, the youngest crew member, said: “This is in the early stages, we’ve set ourselves a big task and we’re trying to take baby steps towards it. Video, >click to read< 08:50

F/V Nicola Faith has been raised from sea off the coast of North Wales

F/V Nicola Faith vanished on January 27 along with its crew, which consisted of skipper Carl McGrath, 34, and his crewmates Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20. It’s understood that the Nicola Faith will be taken ashore to a secure location for further examination before being prepared for a stability assessment. Asked when they saw the Nicola Faith raised out of the water, an eyewitness at the recovery told us that it was approximately 10.10am this morning. Video, photos, >click to read< 09:05 GOV.UKFishing vessel Nicola Faith recovered from seabed>click to read<

F/V Nicola Faith: recovery of the fishing vessel is underway off Colwyn Bay coast

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 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. >click to read< , and >click here< 10:14

Memorial on Great Orme to F/V Nicola Faith fisherman Ross Ballantine is destroyed

A memorial to one of the fisherman who lost his life onboard the stricken F/V Nicola Faith has been destroyed. Ross Ballantine was a crewman on the fishing vessel alongside skipper Carl McGrath, 34, and Alan Minard, 20 when it vanished off the coast of Colwyn Bay on January 27. Following the 39-year-old’s funeral on April 16, his loved ones headed up the Great Orme where they created a memorial to him, spelling out ‘Ross’ using small pieces of limestone from the nearby Bishop’s Quarry. The large memorial lay alongside other names and was clearly visible from the air. >click to read< 14:52

F/V Nicola Faith: Fishing vessel to be raised – MAIB investigation update

Since locating and identifying Nicola Faith in April, the MAIB has gathered and analysed dive survey data from the vessel. We now intend to raise the vessel so that an in-depth examination and stability analysis can be carried out. >click to read<  Missing Conwy fishing boat to be raised from sea bed – Familes of the crew members have been told about the plans to lift the vessel from the sea bed off the Welsh coast. “The vessel will be raised using a specially designed barge crane that has been chartered by MAIB,”  >click to read< 12:34

F/V Nicola Faith: Family of fishermen who died on sunken vessel donate £11,500 to RNLI

Family members of Carl McGrath, the skipper of Nicola Faith presented the gift to staff at Llandudno Station. The £11,500 was raised by family and friends of the three crew members who all died when the boat went missing off the coast of Conwy in January. The family met some of the volunteers who helped search for Carl and his two crewmates Ross Ballantine and Alan Minard. Llandudno RNLI volunteers, along with Rhyl, Conwy, Beaumaris and Hoylake RNLI crews collectively spent over 90 hours searching for the missing vessel. On Wednesday 5 May, Carl’s mum Julie, sister Lauren and partner Jake Cox said a personal thank you to the crew whilst handing over the donation. >video, photos, click to read< 10:17

F/V Nicola Faith: Expert says fishermen could have been saved

David Mearns, a chartered marine scientist, historical researcher, author, and expedition leader of deep ocean projects, confirmed the Nicola Faith has been found less than two miles out to sea in Colwyn Bay. Mr Means, owner and director of Blue Water Recoveries, said he and his team found the wreck using high-resolution solar imaging as as part of a privately-funded effort. The ship was later formally identified by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and North Wales Police divers. But speaking on BBC Radio Wales, Mr Means outlined “alarming” findings and suggested there is “no reason” the boat was not found sooner, and that there is a “possibility” the men could have been saved. >click to read< 22:50

F/V Nicola Faith: The wreck discovered by the MAIB last week is confirmed as the missing fishing vessel

Today, MAIB inspectors attended the site of the wreck,1.9 nautical miles off Rhos Point, to identify the vessel. They were assisted by North Wales Police Underwater Search Team who undertook a comprehensive survey on behalf of the MAIB. As well as identifying the vessel, the survey gathered video evidence and information that will help inform our investigation and assist in understanding the reasons the vessel sank. After all the evidence has been reviewed, including imagery from the dive team, a decision will be made regarding the next steps to be taken as part of the ongoing investigation. >click to read< 09:31

F/V Nicola Faith: Crowd burst into applause fisherman’s funeral cortege travels through Welsh town

The Nicola Faith fishing vessel disappeared near Conwy on January 27. Its three crewmen, skipper Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were onboard at the time. An extensive search for the trio and their vessel was launched and the bodies of the three men were discovered at different coastal locations in England on three consecutive days in March. On Thursday, the funeral of Mr McGrath was held at St Mary’s Church in Conwy with restricted numbers due to ongoing Covid-19 guidelines, but many of his family and friends were able to pay tribute as his funeral cortege made its way through the town. >click to read< 07:38

Sunken vessel found in sea search thought to be missing F/V Nicola Faith

A sunken vessel has been found during a sea search for a fishing boat which vanished with three of its crew. The bodies of Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were later recovered after the Nicola Faith went missing off the coast of Colwyn Bay on the evening of January 27. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said on Tuesday that a sunken boat had been found around two miles off the coast in Colwyn Bay. It is thought to be the missing fishing vessel. >click to read< 09:53

Inquests of fishermen who vanished off North Wales coast hear when last contact was made with crew – Today, Senior Coroner for North Wales East and Central, John Gittins, opened their inquests in Ruthin. >click to read<

F/V Nicola Faith: Body found confirmed as third missing crew member, Alan Minard

Police have confirmed that a body found on The Wirral in north-west England is one of the three fishing boat crew who went missing near Conwy earlier this year. North Wales Police said the body has been identified as 20-year-old Alan Minard, who was on board the Nicola Faith vessel when it  failed to return to port on January 27. Earlier this month one of the vessel’s life rafts was found off the coast of south west Scotland. 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. >click to read<  >click to read all posts< 16:58

F/V Nicola Faith: Body found off Wirral coastline confirmed as missing fisherman Ross Ballantine

A body found off the Wirral coastline on Friday, March 12, is that of Ross Ballantine, police have confirmed. The 39-year-old was reported missing, along with two other fishermen, in January. North Wales Police said this evening: “We can confirm that the body found at West Kirby on Friday 12th March is that of Ross Ballantine, who went missing along with two others on the Conwy fishing boat ‘Nicola Faith’ in January. The news comes 24 hours after a body found on a beach in Blackpool on March 13 was confirmed as being the Skipper Carl McGrath. >click to read< 07:52

North Wales Police confirm body found on Blackpool Beach as missing F/V Nicola Faith fisherman

Carl McGrath, 34, was with Ross Ballantine 39, and Alan Minard, 20, when their fishing boat Nicola Faith went missing after leaving Conwy, north Wales, on January 27. Mr McGrath’s sister Lauren Hynes has today paid tribute to her brother, describing him as ‘my hero, my rock’. North Wales Police today tweeted: “Sadly we can confirm that the body found on the beach at Blackpool on March 13th is that of Carl McGrath, who went missing with 2 others, on the Conwy fishing boat ‘Nicola Faith’ on January 27th. >click to read< 19:16

Private search for F/V Nicola Faith and three crew members is underway today

Led by ocean recovery expert David Mearns, the search began at 6am this morning (March 20). Money for the search was raised through a Go Fund Me page set up by the families of the three fishermen, Ross Ballantine, Alan Minard, and skipper Carl McGrath, 34 who went missing on January 27. The sister of one of the missing crew members, Ross Ballantine, thanked people for their support this morning. Lucy Ballantine said: “Well the day has arrived, Three bodies were discovered in the Wirral and Blackpool last weekend. Police say the families of the three fishermen have been “kept informed,” however, since then no formal identification has been made >click to read< 15:30

Bodies of three men recovered off the Wirral and Blackpool

The families of missing crew members from the fishing boat F/V Nicola Faith have been informed after three bodies were recovered from the coastline off the Wirral and Blackpool over the weekend. North Wales Police confirmed it has been in contact with colleagues from Merseyside and Lancashire police, and it is awaiting the outcome of the post mortem examinations. Alan Minard, 20, Ross Ballantine, 39, and the boat’s skipper Carl McGrath, 34, were declared missing after their fishing vessel the Nicola Faith failed to return to port on January 27. video, >click to read< 14:43

Private search for fishing vessel that disappeared with three men aboard to start this week

The Nicola Faith failed to return to port at Conwy on 27 January. A search for Ross Ballantine, 39, Alan Minard, 20, and skipper Carl McGrath, 34, was called off after two days. Ocean recovery expert David Mearns, who found wreckage of the plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala, is helping their families with technical advice. A life raft from the boat was found off Kirkcudbrightshire in Scotland by HM Coastguard and has been positively identified by the Marine Accident Investigation branch (MAIB). An investigation, run by the MAIB, is taking place and has included sonar surveys. The families are hoping their private searches will bring additional expertise to the investigation . >click to read< 07:26

Three crew members missing after life raft from F/V Nicola Faith washed ashore

The raft was found off the coast of Kirkcudbrightshire in southwest Scotland by the HM Coastguard yesterday. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has positively identified the raft as being from the Nicola Faith, which went missing with its three crew members off the coast of Colwyn Bay in North Wales on January 27. “The search for the vessel, which is being co-ordinated by the MAIB, is continuing. >click to read< 08:37

Families bid for private sea search to find missing Conwy fishermen

Families of three fishermen missing off the Welsh coast have sought advice from an expert nicknamed “shipwreck hunter” in a bid to find their loved ones. Ocean recovery expert David Mearns, who found wreckage of the plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala, is helping the families with “technical advice”. Now they are trying to raise £75,000 to pay for a private search to find Ross Ballantine, 39, Alan Minard, 20, and skipper Carl McGrath, 34. Their vessel was last seen in January. The Nicola Faith crew failed to return to port at Conwy in north Wales after a fishing trip on 27 January. >click to read< 10:22

Missing fisherman’s mum ‘not ready to say goodbye’ after family already hit by tragedy

A mum whose son is missing at sea has spoken about her “unbearable pain”. Carl McGrath and his two crewmates Alan Minard and Ross Ballantine were on board the Nicola Faith, which was due back into port at midnight last Wednesday, but never returned to Conwy. Despite a huge search and multiple reports of debris across the coast, no trace of the boat or those on board has yet been found. Carl’s devastated mum Julie, who has already lost a son, says she’s “not ready to say goodbye” to 34-year-old Carl. >click to read< 09:37

Investigation launched following the disappearance of a fishing vessel and its three crew.

A major search for Alan Minard, Ross Ballantine and skipper Carl McGrath was called off on Friday, January 29 after two days. Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is now looking into the incident. Under its current probes, vessel ‘Nicola Faith’ is listed. Investigation notes say: “Loss of UK registered fishing vessel along with its three crew members in the area of Rhos-On-Sea, Conwy County, North Wales.” >click to read< 07:46

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. 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. >click to read< 07:47