Fundraising drive launched to bring in expert support for a private search for Conwy’s missing fishermen

  Posted: 01.03.21 at 16:09 by The Editor

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A FUNDRASING drive by family and friends of Conwy’s three missing fishermen is launched to enlist the help of the expert who located the plane carrying Cardiff City Footballer Emiliano Sala.

Carl McGrath, 34, Alan (Steve) Minard, 20, and Ross Ballantine, 39, went missing aboard the Nicola Faith fishing boat after the vessel went out on January 27 but did not return as scheduled.

But the search was stood down on January 29 after RNLI lifeboat crews and the coastguard found no sign of the missing boat.

Now family and friends have launched a huge drive for a private search by David Mearns, a specialist in deep water recovery, who led the successful search for Emiliano Sala.

The Just Giving Crowdfunding page launched by Nathania Minard, is aiming to raise £75,000 to enlist the help of Mr Mearns and has already raised over £11,000.

A statement on the page says: “Carl is a hard-working skipper with a partner and family who are immensely proud of his achievements. Ross is a devoted father whose two boys desperately long and wait for his return. Alan is 20 years old and full of dreams, his smile would light up any room.

“Three families are distraught and desperate for answers., but mostly just want their three men home.

“As we approach a month since the sudden and mysterious disappearance of the Nicola Faith and its 3 crew members, family and friends desperate for answers are once again appealing to the public to help us locate the missing vessel and the lads on board.

“We are now trying to raise the necessary funds for a private search by experts who we believe have the best chance of enabling us to bring our lads home.

“David Mearns, a specialist in deep water recovery, who led the successful search for the Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala is willing to assist in the search. We cannot fund this alone and we need the support of all who can help.

“Not knowing is one of the hardest parts to deal with as it leaves the families with so many unanswered questions. Closure is critical to enable the family’s to move forward, remember the good times rather than worry about what happened on that fateful day.

“The search will not be cheap hence the fundraising target but every little will help. We will make sure it does!”

If there any remaining funds after the target is hit, the family and friends will use them twards a memorial in honour of the three men.

The Government’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch confirmed it is also using sonar in the search for the missing crew and their investigations are ongoing.

To donate to the fundraising drive please click here

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