Hope fades for the missing crew of the yacht Cheeki Rafiki

Hopes of finding the missing British crew of the Cheeki Rafiki have all but faded after the yacht's life raft was found on board the capsized vessel.

Family saddened as hope fades for missing crew

The hopes of finding the missing sailors is fading after the life raft was found on the boat Credit: Just Giving

Families of one of the missing British sailors, including two men from the South, have said they are 'shocked and deeply saddened'.

Hope is fading for finding the four men after the life raft for the yacht was found on board the capsized Cheeki Rafiki.

Underwater images taken by a US Navy swimmer found the raft stowed in place, indicating it had not been deployed in an emergency.

The upturned yacht was discovered in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,000 miles east of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

Coast guard officials decided to call off the search for the men - including experienced captain Andrew Bridge, 22, from Farnham, Surrey, and crew member James Male, 23, from Southampton.

Also missing are Steve Warren, 52, from Bridgwater, Somerset, and Paul Goslin, 56, from West Camel, Somerset - unless there was new information or sightings which suggested they would still be alive.

The family of Andrew Bridge from Surrey said: "Andrew will be dearly missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families of the rest of the crew on the CheekiRafiki."

"We would like to thank everyone who's helped in the search for Andrew, including the US Coast Guard, the Canadian Coast Guard, the RAF, merchant vessels, the yachting community and the British and American Governments."

Hope fades for missing crew of Cheeki Rafiki

Hopes of finding the missing crew of Southampton based Cheeki Rafiki have all but faded after the yacht's life raft was found on board the capsized vessel.

The US Coast Guard has called off its search for the four sailors - including Andrew Bridge from Farnham and James Male from Romsey. Richard Jones spoke to sea survival instructor James Brooke and Tony Bullimore who was rescued from his upturned yacht in 1997 after several days.

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Prime Minister's thoughts with families of sailors

David Cameron said his thoughts were with the families of Andrew Bridge, James Male, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin Credit: Press Association Images

Hopes of finding the missing British crew of the Cheeki Rafiki have all but faded after the yacht's life raft was found on board the capsized vessel. The US Coast Guard called off its search at midnight (3am GMT), and an RAF Hercules plane due to hunt for the four sailors will not go out today.

Underwater imagery taken by a swimmer from a US Navy warship showed the raft clearly stowed in place, indicating it had not been deployed in an emergency. Prime Minister David Cameron said his 'thoughts are with the families and friends of the crew'.

The upturned yacht was discovered in the Atlantic Ocean yesterday, about 1,000 miles (1,609km) east of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Its cabin was completely flooded and its windows were shattered. There was no sign of survivors.

Keel missing from the hull of Cheeki Rafiki

Photo taken by US Navy shows the keel missing from the bottom of the boat Credit: PA Wire/US Navy

The surface rescue swimmer also knocked on the hull and reached below the waterline, but with no results. Navy crews saw that the Cheeki Rafiki's keel was broken off, causing a breach in the hull.

Official British efforts to find the missing men have now also been cancelled.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "The UK C130 was due to search for one more day for the life raft of the Cheeki Rafiki.

"In light of the US Coast Guard's decision to suspend their search for the crew following photographic confirmation that the life raft is in the hull of the boat, the C130 will now return to the UK."

Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson said: "I am sad to confirm that the search for the Cheeki Rafiki has now been suspended. My sincere condolences go out to the families of James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin at this very difficult and distressing time.

"The UK Government is grateful to the US Coast Guard and the Canadian search and rescue services for their efforts to locate the men. Their dedication has been unwavering, and they have done everything they could during the course of the search."

A Foreign Office statement on behalf of Mr Warren's family said: "We are very sad that the US has now suspended the search for Stephen and his friends.

Captain Anthony Popiel, 1st US Coast Guard District chief of response, said: "It is with sincere compassion for the families of these four men that our thoughts and prayers are with them all during this difficult time.

"The US Coast Guard is always hopeful, and makes the utmost efforts to find and rescue those in peril. We have the greatest appreciation for the US Navy and US Air Force for working with us alongside the militaries of Canada and the United Kingdom during this massive search effort.

"It is only after our deepest consideration that we suspend our active search efforts."

Coastguard call off search for missing sailors

The US Coast Guard called off its search at 3am British time, and an RAF Hercules plane due to hunt for the four sailors will not go out today.

Underwater imagery taken by a swimmer from a US Navy warship showed the raft clearly stowed in place, indicating it had not been deployed in an emergency.

The upturned yacht was discovered in the Atlantic Ocean yesterday, about 1,000 miles (1,609km) east of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

Its cabin was completely flooded and windows were shattered, and there was no sign of survivors. Coast guard officials decided to call off the search for the men,

experienced captain Andrew Bridge, 22, from Farnham, Surrey, and crew members James Male, 23, from Southampton, Steve Warren, 52, from Bridgwater, Somerset, and Paul Goslin, 56, from West Camel, Somerset - unless there was new information or sightings which suggested they would still be alive.