A SHIPWRECK which has been found off the North Wales coast has been confirmed as the missing vessel Nicola Faith which sank two months ago with three crew members onboard.

A major search took place for the three men after the fishing boat failed to return to port on January 27. 

The search for skipper Carl McGrath, 34, Ross Ballantine, 39 and Alan Minard, 20, was stepped down two days later when nothing was found.

The bodies of the three men were later recovered from the coastline of Blackpool in March.

The bodies of the three crew members were recovered from the coastline of Blackpool last month

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) had said last week that it had found a vessel of interest in the Colwyn Bay area.

The vessel has now been confirmed to be the wreck of Nicola Faith who failed to return to port in Conwy, say MAIB.

The families of the missing crew members had raised £55,000 to hire David Mearns, a deep-sea recovery specialist who assisted in recovering the Cardiff bound plane carrying Emiliano Sala.

In a tweet on his personal page this morning, David Mearns said: “The wreck is largely intact. The exposed starboard hull shows no damage. Key features like the radar mast above the wheelhouse and high tower above the stern surely identify it as the NICOLA FAITH, to be confirmed by the MAIB and police divers later today.”

Pic from David Mearns twitter shows illustration of the wreck confirmed as Nicola Faith

Chief executive for MIAB, Andrew Moll said: “”I understand how desperate the families of the crew are for answers, and now that the vessel has been found our investigation can focus on establishing why Nicola Faith sank.

“A large amount of evidence has already been collected and analysed, and a close look at the results of today’s dive survey should increase our understanding of the accident.

“Until this has been completed it is not possible to say whether it will be necessary to recover the wreck for further testing.”