NORTH WALES POLICE have confirmed that the families of missing fishermen are being supported following the recovery of three bodies from the coastline of Blackpool over the weekend.

Families of the crew members from the fishing vessel Nicola Faith have been informed and North Wales Police are awaiting the outcome of the Home Office post-mortem examinations.

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, involving lifeboats, a helicopter and plane was stepped down two days later when nothing was found.

One of the boats life rafts were found off the coast of south west Scotland earlier this month.

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.

The specialist search was expected to start this week.

North Wales Police confirmed they were in contact with Merseyside and Lancashire police, and are awaiting post mortem examinations.

A North Wales Police spokesperson 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.”