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Three bodies found in search for missing fishermen

THREE bodies have been found in the search for missing fishermen who disappeared six weeks ago off the North Wales coast.

Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine 39, and Alan Minard, 20, were onboard the Nicola Faith when it left Conwy, North Wales, on January 27.

A major search was launched when the boat failed to return but was stood down two days after the fishermen’s disappearance – on January 29 – when nothing was found.

Today, a spokesman for North Wales Police said the bodies of three men were recovered from the coastline off Wirral and Blackpool over the weekend.

Post-mortem examinations are being conducted, police confirmed.

The spokesman said: “We have been in contact with colleagues from both Merseyside and Lancashire Police, and we await the outcome of the Home Office post-mortem examinations.

“The families of the missing crew members from the vessel Nicola Faith have been kept informed, and continue to be supported by specialist officers.

“We would request that they are given the necessary privacy at this difficult time.”

A life raft from the boat was found off the coast of Kirkcudbrightshire in Scotland by the Coastguard and was identified by the Marine Accident and Investigation Branch.

An investigation into the disappearance has included sonar surveys.

More than £55,000 has been raised on a JustGiving page set up by the families of the missing men to pay for a private search, led by deep water recovery expert David Mearns.

The expert helped recover the downed plane carrying Cardiff-bound footballer Emiliano Sala

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