US Coast Guard urged to return and look for yachtsmen

The US Coast Guard was facing calls last night to return to the doomed British yacht Cheeki Rafiki, to check whether the bodies of any of its four crew members were trapped inside. The coastguard located the boat a week after the vessel went missing.

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Missing sailors: Families 'devastated' as search ends

Graham Male reading a statement on behalf of the families today.

The families of the British yachtsmen thought to have died in the Atlantic have said the news that their life raft was found untouched left them "all utterly devastated".

Graham Male, the father of James Male, said: "Nonetheless we take some small solace that this conclusive development allowed us to gain an element of closure."

Reading a statement today outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he offered the families' gratitude to the British government, the US Coastguard, and all others that took "not inconsiderable personal risk to find our loved ones".

"We would like to say how indebted we are to the public for its overwhelming and unprecedented support," he said after referencing the 240,000 signatures on a petition urging the US authorities to continue their search.

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