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US coast guard to end search for raft if no new leads

The search for the four sailors on board the missing yacht Cheeki Rafiki will continue for another 30 hours, the US coastguard said.

If no new leads were found withing this time, the search will end for the final time.

Captain Anthony Popiel said he had spoken to the yachtsmen's families to tell them that the search could be suspended.

Search for missing yachtsmen to end in 30 hours

Latest on international search effort for missing yacht

Debris found in the Atlantic Ocean is not thought to be linked to the disappearance of sailors from the Meridian region, who've now been missing for a week.

Last Thursday, the crew of the yacht Cheeki Rafiki - which included Andrew Bridge from Farnham, in Surrey, and James Bale from Hampshire - reported they were taking on water. Communication with them then stopped.

ITV's North America correspondent, Robert Moore, is in Boston for us and has the latest on the international search effort.

Debris spotted 'not linked to missing British yacht'

Our search assets have found a variety of debris and trash during their searches. The key part is correlating these objects to the search effort. We take reports of debris very seriously and, at this time, no debris or objects reported during this search correlate to the Cheeki Rafiki.

– Anthony Popiel, 1st Coast Guard District Chief of Response Capt

This is still a very remote region of the Atlantic and our search planning is focused on directing the U.S. and international military ships and aircraft we have deployed. We are also working directly with volunteer commercial ships in the area. We want to reiterate to all private mariners the inherent risks of operating in that environment.

– Anthony Popiel, 1st Coast Guard District Chief of Response Capt


West Country (E)

Families of missing sailors meet Foreign Office officials

Families of missing sailors go to the Foreign Office

Relatives of four missing sailors are meeting officials at the Foreign Office today.

The four missing crew members of the Cheeki Rafiki include 56-year-old Paul Goslin from West Camel and 52-year-old Steven Warren from Bridgwater.

The US Coastguard have searched almost 10,000 square miles and have found some debris in the Atlantic Ocean near to where the yacht capsized. It has not been confirmed whether or not the debris came from the Cheeki Rafiki.

Plank and foam spotted by volunteer vessel in Atlantic

A volunteer crew helping to search for four missing British sailors have spotted debris.

Skipper Patrick Michel of the Malisi said he spotted a plank and foam in the northern part of the search in the Atlantic Ocean.

The 40ft yacht, Cheeki Rafiki, was sailing back from Antigua when it started taking on water last Thursday.

The four crew members, including Andrew Bridge from Farnham and James Male from Southampton, have not been seen or heard from.

A spokeswoman for the US Coast Guard said:

I can confirm that we have received reports (of debris) from the sailing vessel Malisi. They have found some debris in the search area. We can't tell at this time if they are from the Cheeki Rafiki as there were no identifying marks on them. The debris was a plank of wood and a small piece of floating foam, but there was nothing identifying the Cheeki Rafiki. Obviously it is a possibility, and we are definitely treating it very seriously and incorporating that into our search, but I can't say for certain that it was from the Cheeki Rafiki."

– Spokeswoman from US Coast Guard

Search yacht spotted two possible Cheeki Rafiki objects

Patrick Michel, the captain of a yacht which has joined the search for the missing British sailors, said a member of his crew saw a "wooden plank about 1m long, 20-30cm wide, and another rectangular white foam or plastic [object]."

He said he had "no idea if it is part of the boat" but that he had emailed the details to the US Coast Guard.

The sighting was made at around 10pm UK time last night for "a brief second, and then it vanished into the night."

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