Veteran yachtsman Tony Bullimore: 'Strong possibility' yachtsmen are still in life raft

Tony Bulllimore
Tony Bullimore survived for six days in the Southern Ocean. Credit: Press Association Images/Anthony Devlin

Veteran yachtsman Tony Bullimore who once survived for six days in the overturned hull of his boat told ITV News that "there is a strong possibility" the four missing yachtsmen are in the life raft.

"There's obviously a strong possibility that they are in the life raft and if they are in there it would be good for the U.S. Search and Rescue to try and find them," he said.

Contact with the Cheeki Rafiki yacht was lost on Friday after it got into difficulties 620 miles (1,000km) east of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

He said the life raft would be well equipped so the men could survive "for days", giving the example of friend Steve Callahan who survived for 76 days adrift in the Atlantic Ocean.

"The raft would have survival equipment in it, life jackets, water in sachets and high protein chocolate which helps them to keep going as well as wind capes to protect against the weather," he said.

Bullimore survived for six days after his boat capsized in the Southern Ocean in 1997 by sheltering in the hull of his yacht the Exide Challenger, while taking part in the Vendee Globe single-handed non-stop round-the-world race.