The search has been called off for four Britons who went missing while sailing a yacht from the Caribbean to the UK.
Andrew Bridge, 21, Paul Goslin, 56, Steve Warren, 52 and another unnamed person were on board the Cheeki Rafiki when the performance cruiser began taking on water.
Contact was lost with the crew on Friday as the vessel diverted to the Azores and it is now feared the yacht capsized.
Southampton charter firm Stormforce Coaching said it believed the crew abandoned ship to a life raft.
Stormforce director Doug Innes said: ‘We were in contact with the skipper and at the time the yacht and crew were keeping the situation stable.
‘They had not been able to ascertain where the water ingress was from and were diverting to the Azores.
‘Unfortunately we lost contact during the early hours of Friday morning and we believe it is possible the crew abandoned to the life raft.
‘Although the search efforts co-ordinated by Boston were exceptional we are devastated that the search has now been called off so soon.’
He said his thoughts were with the four men and their families.
The men’s names were revealed by the Royal Yacht Association, who described all four of them as ‘very experienced offshore yachtsmen’.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman added: ‘We are aware of a missing yacht off the East Coast of the USA with four British nationals on board.
‘We are in contact with the US Coastguard and have offered consular assistance to the families’.
The experienced yachtsmen were reportedly taking the 40ft yacht back to the UK after it had participated in the Antigua Week regatta.
18 May 2014 | 3:37 pm – Source: metro.co.uk