Endurance athlete Steve Bozier intends to run at least five gruelling laps of the Great Orme next weekend in a bid to help raise funds towards essential equipment needed in the search for three missing crew members of the fishing boat Nicola Faith.
Steve, from Llandudno, who is member of North Wales Road Runners Club, said: ‘I am going to run at least five laps of the Orme to complete a marathon distance, but it’s going to be a tough one. I know it’s four miles from toll to toll, so I’m aiming for five laps, and if enough money is raised, I might even go for six laps.
“The extra lap would make this an ultra-marathon challenge, which is completely unknown territory for me. It will be extremely difficult, but worth it to help the families finally bring our local lads back home at last!’
The well-known local bus driver and charity fundraiser jumped at the chance to try and help find Ross Ballantine (39), Alan Minard (20) and boat skipper Carl McGrath (34), who were all posted as missing following the disappearance of their boat off the Conwy coast late last month.
An extensive two-day search was undertaken at the time by the Coastguard, RNLI, and other emergency services, when the fishermen failed to return to their home port at Conwy.
The investigation into the causes and circumstances surrounding the vessel’s loss, however, is still ongoing. The search for the vessel is being co-ordinated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), which is continuing. MAIB has been working with underwater search experts to cover a wide area including all of the vessel’s historic operating area.
Despite this ongoing search, family members are also hoping to provide extensive funds for an additional private search by experienced international marine specialists.
And last Friday, there was a further development, when a life raft belonging to the Nicola Faith was found at Kirkcudbrightshire, just off the Scottish coast by HM Coastguards.
It was discovered about 90 nautical miles from where the fishing boat was believed lost, on the evening of 27th January. identified by the MAIB, it has since been transported to their Southampton premises for further examination and analysis.
Lowri Taylor, the sister of Ross Ballantine said: “We have been told that none of the equipment on the life raft was used, but we need to know what happened to the fishermen.”
She added: “It answers one question though. We know they weren’t on the life raft out there on the sea trying to get help for days. And it’s now more important than ever that we keep raising money to provide additional expertise and help us to get the lads home.“
Athlete Steve, originally set a target of just £500 for his marathon effort, but quickly revised his target when that sum was raised within the first day. He now confirms that he will probably have to run an extra lap now, as it’s imperative to raise as much money as possible for this important cause.
He has started a JustGiving fundraising page, and donations can be made via this link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stephen-bozier?utm_term=ZmjkjJ26d&fbclid=IwAR2zz4knNyyA-vMkb7GyEp-X8Z34ldYkqLZqEDJe5MZNo1uuwNSsL7ZxTvY