Nearly 200,000 British people signed a petition calling on the US Coast Guard to restart the search for the lost yacht Cheeki Rafiki, which is believed to have sank in the early hours of Friday morning off the US coast. Boston Coast Guard mounted a search, but called it off after 42 hours, however following pressure they have now agreed to restart the search.
The four man crew: James Male (23), Andrew Bridge (21), Steve Warren (52) and Paul Goslin (56) initially radioed at 3:15am on Friday to say the yacht was taking on water. Two of the crew had personal beacons, both of which were activated within a few hours of the initial distress call.
The coast guard was initially dispatched but ended the search without finding anything. Since then a container ship has come across a similar capsized yacht with a black keel (pictured). Although the ship did not have the specialist equipment to recover the vessel, they took a photo of it which appears to show the life raft was deployed.
Once the search ended the families started a petition calling on the US Coast Guard to restart the search, they have also sent a delegation to meet the Foreign Secretary, William Hague. The original purpose was to ask him to pressure the US State Department, although they had not yet arrived at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by the time the announcement to restart was made.
Despite the desperate plight of the sailors, a spokesman for the families told Breitbart London that there was every possibility they were still alive. He said: “We can’t fault the Coast Guard, they’ve been superb. But these are experienced sailors who had time to leave the sinking yacht and move into the life raft.
“With that in mind we believe they should restart the search. The life raft has space for twelve men, and may well have enough food and water for twelve as well. This could mean they would survive for days, even weeks depending on the temperature.”
In addition to the petition, the family of James Male issued an open letter asking for help in lobbying the coast guard. The letter was sent out via a number of voluntary groups including the Hampshire Freemasons, where it is understood Mr Male is a member.
In the letter Mr Male’s father Graham said: “My family wish to gain as much support as possible for my son along with the other three sailors, so that they can come home to us, alive and well.
“If you are able to help in any shape or form, or if you have any contacts that you think may be able to, please could you assist. We need increased pressure on the U.S Coastguards to continue their search in these improved conditions.”
The search is only now in the planning phase but is likely to restart shortly.