The family of the four British yachtsman who went missing in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday are petitioning the US Coast Guard
The families of four British missing sailors have called on the US Coast Guard to resume their search for the men who went missing in the Atlantic.
Cheeki Rafiki and its crew had been returning to Southampton from Antigua Sailing Week when their Beneteau First 40.7 began taking on water on Thursday around 1,000 miles off Cape Cod.
Three US and Canadian aircraft and three merchant vessels searched more than 4,000 square miles throughout Friday and Saturday before calling off the their efforts on Sunday.
Southampton-based Stormforce Coaching, who own the charter race yacht, said: “Unfortunately we lost contact during the early hours of Friday morning and we believe the crew abandoned to the life raft.
“Although the search efforts coordinated by Boston were exceptional we are devastated that the has been called off so soon.”
The RYA has named the four men as Andrew Bridge, 21, from Surrey; Paul Goslin, 56, from Somerset; Steve Warren, 52, also from Somerset and James Male, 23, from Southampton.
Speaking to the BBC, MP Caroline Nokes said: “The families are very clear that the yachtsmen were very experienced, they were well trained for this eventuality and their belief is that they would have made it into the life raft safely. They had survival packs that they would have taken with them and that they are still alive.”
The US Coast Guard, who are still in talks with UK government ministers, said they are “extremely disappointed” not to have found the sailors but would need new information before resuming the search.
An online petition calling on the US Coastguard to continue their efforts has so far received more than 10,000 signatures.
Posting on the petition, Claire Goslin said: “One of the sailors is my dad and we cannot give up! He is my world and we need to start this search again.”
So far, the US Coast Guard has been unable to find any signs of the sailors, but a container ship M/V Maersk Kure did spot an overturned hull that may have been the yacht on Saturday but sea conditions prevented the crew from closely examining the vessel.