‘I just want my son’s body back so I can give him the burial he deserves’

The mother of a young fisherman who has been missing at sea for over a month said she just wants her son’s body back as “he deserves” to be buried.

Alan Minard, 20, Ross Ballantine, 39, and Carl McGrath, 34, disappeared off the Conwy coast on January 27 while on the Nicola Faith.

But they failed to return to port in Conwy, sparking a major search by the RNLI and emergency services.

Two days went by before the coastguard announced the search would be called off.

Investigators have continued to perform some sonar searches and remain “confident” the boat will eventually be found.

Alan’s mum, Rebekah Minard, told the Liverpool Echo that all she wants is for her son’s body to be returned so he can have a proper burial.

“I just want Alan’s body back so I can bury him. He deserves that. I don’t want him out there,” she said.

“He loved the beach and the sea. He was a happy-go-lucky lad who loved life. A real joker.”

Rebekah’s partner Nathania said: “I remember we went for a walk on the beach one day when Alan was doing exams at school.

“The next thing we spotted him on his skateboard – that was Alan.”

Now a fundraiser has been set up by Nathania in a bid to help in the efforts to return the men to their families.

So far they have raised over £14,000 to pay for the cost of a private search by the team who found the body of Cardiff City FC footballer Emiliano Sala.

Mr Sala died when a light aircraft he was travelling in crashed in the English Channel on January 21.

The appeal reads: “As we approach a month since the sudden and mysterious disappearance of the Nicola Faith and its three crew members, family and friends desperate for answers are once again appealing to the public to help us locate the missing vessel and the lads on board.

“We are now trying to raise the necessary funds for a private search by experts who we believe have the best chance of enabling us to bring our lads home.

“David Mearns, a specialist in deep water recovery, who led the successful search for the Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala is willing to assist in the search. We cannot fund this alone and we need the support of all who can help.

“Not knowing is one of the hardest parts to deal with as it leaves the families with so many unanswered questions.

“Closure is critical to enable the family’s to move forward, remember the good times rather than worry about what happened on that fateful day.”