Cheeki Rafiki: ‘Chances lost’ to rescue four missing British yachtsmen

‘Chances lost’ to rescue four missing yachtsmen
Missing: Paul Gosling, James Male, Steve Warren and Andrew Bridge (Picture: PA)

Search teams may have missed vital chances to rescue four Britons who vanished after their yacht capsized in the Atlantic, it was claimed last night.

The US coastguard yesterday called off the search for the crew of the Cheeki Rafiki who went missing 1,000km (620 miles) east of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

A passing ship spotted the upturned hull of a boat matching the yacht’s description on Saturday but failed to check if there was anyone inside.

The shipmates were last heard from on Friday, hours after reporting that sea water was gushing in through part of the 12m (40ft) racing vessel.

The men, named as Andrew Bridge, 21, from Farnham, Surrey; Paul Goslin, 56, and Steve Warren, 52, both from Somerset; and 23-year-old James Male, from Southampton, were all described as ‘experienced’ sailors.

Undated handout photo issued by the Royal Yachting Association of the Cheeki Rafiki yacht as 4 men are missing after the yacht they were sailing to the UK from a regatta in the Caribbean is feared to have capsized in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday May 18, 2014. See PA story ACCIDENT Yacht. Photo credit should read: Royal Yachting Association/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Vanished: The British sailors went missing in the mid-Atlantic while sailing back from a regatta on the yacht Cheeki Rafiki (Picture: PA)

Mr Bridge’s aunt, Georgina Bridge, said he was the captain and was travelling back from the Antigua Sailing Week regatta with the three other yachtsmen.

‘The family are really concerned that the search has been suspended. We are hopeful they were able to launch a life raft, so we would like the search resumed,’ she told Sky News.

The crew ran into trouble on Thursday and said they were diverting to the Azores in the mid-Atlantic.

Doug Innes, a director at Stormforce Coaching which provided the boat, said he believed the men may have escaped on to a raft.

He added: ‘Although the search effort was exceptional, we are devastated it has been called off so soon.’

US Coastguard captain Anthony Popiel said two US planes, a Canadian aircraft and three ships had tried to find the men.

19 May 2014 | 8:24 am – Source:

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