Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson spoke to the families of the crew of the missing yacht ‘Cheeki Rafiki’ this evening. He informed them that the US Coast Guard intended to suspend the active search for the boat after Friday 23 May if the search did not find any further sign of the vessel, men or a life raft.
Mr Robertson explained how the US Coast Guard had gone above and beyond in searching for the men and that they would continue to do so on Friday – with further flights by C-130 aircraft, including one from the RAF, and the use of two US ships and intensive flights by a helicopter. However if nothing further was found the US Coast Guard would suspend their search.
Speaking this evening the Minister said:
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin tonight. We all continue to hope that we will find them, and are committed to a further intensive search tomorrow. I would like to pay tribute to the extraordinary efforts of the US Coast Guard who continue to do all they can with great support from the Canadian authorities, as well as commercial and private shipping.
I know that, despite there bring no further sightings of the Cheeki Raffiki or its crew, any decision to suspend the search will be incredibly difficult and will only be taken after the most serious deliberation.
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