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A crane barge contracted by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch has raised the sunken fishing vessel Nicola Faith as part of the agency’s investigation into the accident.
The Nicola Faith went missing off the coast of Colwyn Bay on the north coast of Wales on January 27, 2021 with the loss of its three crew members. While the bodies of the crew members were recovered following the accident, the vessel itself was missing until an extensive search located the sunken wreck in early April.
In the first stages of the operation, a remotely operated vehicle was used to conduct a final survey of Nicola Faith in the position it came to rest on the seabed. Evidence including fishing equipment and outlying debris was mapped and collected from the area, which will in help MAIB investigators understand what led to the vessel’s capsizing.
In preparation for the recovery, a number of anchors were laid out and salvage pumps were used to remove a large quantity of seawater from inside the vessel. The Nicola Faith, which weighed 11 tonnes, was raised using a 43m long crane barge and placed on the deck of a ship. It will now be transported to a secure location for further investigation, testing and stability analysis, the MAIB said.
“This operation needed to be meticulously planned and executed to ensure that valuable evidence was conserved. We are pleased to have achieved that and successfully recovered Nicola Faith,” said Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, Captain Andrew Moll.
“The purpose of our investigation is to improve safety. The next phase of the investigation will be to establish what events led to the vessel’s capsize, the mechanics of how the vessel sunk and why. Once the investigation is complete a report which details the findings will be prepared and published. As well as providing the families with an explanation, our report will aim to prevent such a tragic accident recurring,” Captain Moll said.
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