Skip to main content

Coast Guard calls off search for missing UK yacht and crew

By Kevin Conlon, CNN
updated 8:03 AM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
The crew of the Cheeki Rafiki, a 12-meter yacht headed to the United Kingdom from the Caribbean, contacted the shore to report that the yacht was taking on water on Friday, May 16. The crew of the Cheeki Rafiki, a 12-meter yacht headed to the United Kingdom from the Caribbean, contacted the shore to report that the yacht was taking on water on Friday, May 16.
HIDE CAPTION
British yachtsmen missing
British yachtsmen missing
British yachtsmen missing
British yachtsmen missing
British yachtsmen missing
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Four British sailors are believed to have abandoned ship Friday
  • The 40-foot Cheeki Rafiki began taking on water Thursday
  • Coast Guard suspends efforts after searching more than 4000 square miles

(CNN) -- The U.S. Coast Guard said Sunday it has suspended its search for four British sailors missing since Friday.

The 40-foot (12 meters) Cheeki Rafiki was sailing from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom Thursday when it began taking on water, according to the yacht's managing agent.

"Unfortunately, we lost contact during the early hours of Friday morning, and we believe the crew abandoned to the life raft," Doug Innes said in a statement.

Royal Yachting Association identified the missing yachtsmen as skipper Andrew Bridge, 21; Steve Warren, 52; Paul Goslin, 56; and James Male, 23.

The Coast Guard's Boston-based 1st District coordinated a multinational search of 4,146 square miles for the crew.

"Although the search efforts coordinated by Boston were exceptional, we are devastated that search has been called off so soon after the abandonment to a life raft," Innes said.

The Coast Guard said in a Sunday news release that a merchant vessel located an overturned hull the day before that matched the description of the Cheeki Rafiki, but there was no sign of the sailors.

"We appreciate the assistance of the U.S. Air Force, Canadian and the three merchant vessels helping us to conduct a thorough search so far from shore," said Capt. Anthony Popiel, 1st Coast Guard District chief of response. "We are extremely disappointed that we were not able to locate the sailors during the course of this extensive search. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time."

Innes describes the Cheeki Rafiki on his company's website as "a performance racer/cruiser and suitable for both the inshore and offshore circuit" and that she is "equipped for trans-Atlantic sailing and racing."

Sailor so 'rich' he forgot $100k yacht

CNN's Haimy Assefa and Jo Shelley contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:18 PM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
This is how the two U.S. aid workers infected with Ebola will be evacuated from west Africa.
updated 2:18 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 2:29 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
How did al Qaeda recruit a former Florida high school footballer?
updated 7:08 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
updated 11:54 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would be "complicated." Can John Kerry's visit change that?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
updated 11:31 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
What're you doing after work today? If you lived in these cities you could head to the BEACH!
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT