Grieving family of ‘Nicola Faith’ skipper present £11,500 donation to RNLI

The family of the late Carl McGrath, skipper of the fishing vessel Nicola Faith today presented a kind gift to the RNLI which has been raised by the family and friends of three lost fishermen.

The donation was accepted on behalf of the charity by Llandudno Station Coxswain Graham Heritage.

The family met some of the volunteers who helped search for Carl and his two crewmates Ross Ballantine and Alan Minard. The vessel went missing off the coast of Conwy in January, sadly all three bodies were later recovered, and the wreck has since been located following an extensive search.

The family received a warm welcome from Llandudno RNLI volunteers, who along with Rhyl, Conwy, Beaumaris and Hoylake RNLI crews collectively spent over 90 hours searching for the missing vessel.

A spokesperson for Hoylake RNLI Lifeboat Station said, “

We would like to express our gratitude to the families and friends of Carl McGrath, skipper of the fishing vessel ‘Nicola Faith’, and his crewmates Ross Ballantine and Alan Minard for their generous gift to the RNLI.

“The sad loss of Carl, Ross and Alan on the ‘Nicola Faith’ touched so many people and the families showed incredible strength in fundraising for our charity at a difficult time. We join the RNLI volunteers at Llandudno, Rhyl, Conwy and Beaumaris in thanking them for this donation.”

Through their grief, all three families found the strength to fundraise for the RNLI charity and the community has rallied around to offer their support. Today Carl’s mum Julie, sister Lauren and partner Jake Cox said a personal thank you to the crew whilst handing over the kind gift.

Lauren said, “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our community and so thankful for all the support we have received during such a difficult time. As a family we want to thank the RNLI and everyone involved in the search for the three lads, the work they have done is incredible and is indeed heart-warming. I am just glad we can finally lay my brother Carl, Alan and Ross to rest and we can try and rebuild our lives while remembering the memories all three have left behind.”

The RNLI has been touched by the generosity and the courage shown by all three families and the local community.

Alun Pari Huws, who was Duty Launching Authority when the alarm was raised said, “The family has shown such compassion to think of all our crews when they were going through so much turmoil. It was not the outcome any of us had hoped and prayed for and the search deeply affected our crews. The funds raised will help ensure our crews can continue to go out to sea in what we anticipate to be a busy period on the coast.

“The amount raised really is phenomenal. It has been such a pleasure to meet with the family today and show them and the community how much this kind gift is appreciated by all at the RNLI.”

Image credit: Allan Cuthbertson

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