The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has said that it will extend the search for the fishing vessel Nicola Faith, which went missing off the coast of Colwyn Bay in North Wales on January 27.
The MAIB confirmed the recent discovery of three bodies believed to be those of Nicola Faith‘s crew. However, the agency added it is keen to find the wreck to understand the causes and circumstances of the sinking.
With poor weather forecast in the coming days, additional search assets with enhanced capability will be deployed with plans to continue once the weather improves. In addition, the search area planned to be covered has been expanded.
Natural Resources Wales has volunteered sonar equipment and additional technical expertise to aid in the search, the MAIB added.
Discussions with the Welsh government are ongoing regarding the possible use of the fisheries patrol vessel Rhodri Morgan to aid in the search.
Andrew Moll, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, said that more than 77 square kilometres of seabed have been searched using specialist equipment.
The MAIB has been able to identify Nicola Faith‘s primary operating area and this has been searched with a considerable amount of overlap, added Mr Moll.
The specialist equipment that is being used is extremely sensitive and the search has been hampered by poor weather in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, the vessel’s liferaft was found off the coast of Kirkcudbrightshire by HM Coastguard and was identified by the MAIB as being from the Nicola Faith.
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