THE body of Purbeck Isle fisherman Jack Craig has been found off the Devon coast.

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed yesterday that a body found in the sea off Brixham on August 9 is that of missing Jack Craig.

Money from a memorial fund which was set up for the families of the three tragic Purbeck Isle fishermen will go towards the 21 year-old Portlander’s funeral costs.

Members of the fishing community have said they hope the news provides Mr Craig’s family and friends with solace.

Mr Craig was a crewman onboard the Purbeck Isle fishing boat, together with Robert Prowse, 20, and skipper David McFarlane, 35.

The Weymouth-based vessel left harbour on May 17 but did not return.

During a three-day search Mr McFarlane’s body was found and the wreck of the boat was discovered. Mr Prowse is still missing.

In the wake of the tragedy the Purbeck Isle Memorial Fund was set up, spearheaded by the Weymouth and Portland Licensed Fishermen's and Boatmen's Association (WPLFBA).

Andy Alcock from the WPLFBA said the association was glad that Mr Craig’s family and friends now had closure.

He said: “We are happy that his body has been found. We are happy that his family now has closure.”

He added: “We are now hoping that Robert can be found as well.”

Mr Alcock said that the memorial fund committee would be doing everything they could to help with the funeral costs.

He said: “The memorial fund will meet the costs, like we did with Mr McFarlane’s funeral.”

Mr McFarlane’s father Colin McFarlane said their family had been fortunate that David McFarlane had been found quickly.

He said: “I’m glad that Jack has come home. I have known him since he was a young child, about five years old. I’m just glad he has been found.

“He was a hard worker Jack, I liked him a lot.”

Dave Pitman, chairman of the WPLFBA, said he hoped the news would help the family.

He said: “All you can hope is that it gives the family closure.

He added: “I feel sorry for all three families and hopefully it’s not too long before they find Robert Prowse.”

* DEVON and Cornwall Police confirmed the body was that of Jack Craig, 21, of Portland, Dorset.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “A body of a male was found 20 miles off Brixham at around 6am on August 9.

“The body was recovered by lifeboat and taken back to Brixham. At that time enquiries began to establish the man’s identity and the cause of death was unknown.”

“A forensic post-mortem has been carried out and the body has been formally identified as the body of Jack Craig.”

The coroner was informed and Mr Craig’s next of kin were made aware.

Purbeck Isle crewmates

FATHER-OF-THREE David McFarlane was the skipper of the Purbeck Isle.

His body was found during the three-day search after the vessel was reported missing on May 17.

He left behind partner of 17 years Vicky Huntley and daughters Bethany, Caitlin and Hope. His father, Colin McFarlane said that David ‘enjoyed life to the full’ whilst his mother, Grace said: “You couldn’t wish for a better father for the children.”

Former Budmouth College pupil Robert Prowse is still missing at sea.

He joined the fishing trade after school and leaves behind a young family.

His father, Peter Prowse said Robert, of Westham, was born and bred in Weymouth and lived for the sea.

Mr Prowse added: “He always loved the sea, that was his life. As a nipper he would spend his time down at the quay.

“He leaves behind a young family and his beloved girls.”