Planes and ships from the United States, Canada, and Britain
have turned up no fresh signs of four British sailors missing
in the Atlantic, the US Coast Guard says, adding that search
efforts will continue.
The crew members on board the yacht Cheeki Rafiki went
missing on Friday as they were returning to Britain from a
sailing event in Antigua in the Caribbean and reported that
the vessel was taking on water, forcing them to change course
for the Azores.
"Unfortunately we have had no sightings of a life raft,
persons in the water, a sailboat, or debris," US Coast Guard
Captain Anthony Popeil, who is leading the search, told
reporters at a press conference in Boston.
"No decisions have been made regarding suspension of this
search. Our focus is on continuing search planning, and I can
confirm now that we are making plans to have search assets on
scene tomorrow," he said.
The US Coast Guard, supported by US and Canadian air forces,
had mounted a search about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) off Cape
Cod, Massachusetts, but called it off on Sunday due to
treacherous conditions, saying there was little chance of
But US authorities resumed the hunt on Tuesday after a public
appeal backed by UK politicians and British billionaire
Richard Branson not to give up on finding the yachtsmen just
yet. Popeil said the decision to resume the search was made
"at the request of the British government" and that he had
been in regular contact with the families of the missing men.
Searchers covered some 9,000 square miles (23,300 square km)
of ocean since resuming the effort Tuesday morning, Popeil
said. He said US British, and Canadian aircraft had been
scanning for signs of the sailors, and that a Coast Guard
cutter and a Navy warship were en route to the area to help.
"This is a large scale international search, and we are
saturating a very large, very remote area of the Atlantic
ocean," he said.
Relatives of the missing men had set up a petition to urge US
authorities to resume their search after the suspension,
saying the men, all experienced sailors, could have escaped
from the 40-foot (12-meter) yacht on a life raft.
Within 36 hours the petition had attracted over 200,000
signatures and the support of British politicians and
entrepreneur Branson, who tweeted "urge for longer search for
missing Cheeki Rafiki yacht".
The fate of the four - named as captain Andrew Bridge, 21,
Steve Warren, 52, Paul Goslin, 56, and James Male, 23 - has
dominated television and newspaper headlines in Britain with
their relatives publicly appealing for more time to be
devoted to the search.
Popeil has said the estimated survival time after a distress
alert in extreme conditions at sea was about 20 hours. He
said that at about noon on Saturday, crew from the cargo ship
MV Maersk Kure had located an overturned hull that matched
the description of the Cheeki Rafiki but could not find any
sign of the sailors.