Missing yacht: Private vessels join search for British sailors

 

Three privately owned yachts are set to join the hunt for four British sailors missing in the Atlantic following the resumption of the official search by the American authorities.

The vessels have broken off from a transatlantic yachting rally and will join a fourth private boat already scouring the 130 square mile search area for any sign of the crew of the CheekiRafiki, which capsized 1,000 miles off Massachusetts last week.

They will bolster an international search operation led by ships and aircraft from the US Coast Guard as well as a Canadian plane and a Royal Air Force Hercules.

The Ministry of Defence said the aircraft based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire was due to refuel in Portugal before flying to the mid-Atlantic in search of Britons James Male, 23, Andrew Bridge, 21, Paul Goslin, 56, and Steve Warren, 52.

Relatives of the four men, who were returning the yacht to Southampton from Antigua when they reported it was taking on water, spoke of their relief that search efforts had been resumed after initially being suspended by the Americans on Sunday morning.

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