Cheeki Rafiki: Under Pressure, USCG Resumes Search

Posted by Greg Trauthwein
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Online petition for renewed search gets 150,000 signatures

U.S. authorities resumed a hunt on Tuesday for four British yachtsmen missing in the Atlantic Ocean after a public appeal backed by UK politicians and British billionaire Richard Branson not to give up on finding them just yet. The sailors on board the yacht Cheeki Rafiki went missing on Friday as they were returning to Britain from a sailing event in Antigua in the Caribbean and reported that the vessel was taking on water, forcing them to change course to head to the Azores.

The U.S. Coast Guard, supported by U.S. and Canadian air forces, mounted a search about 1,000 miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but called it off on Sunday due to treacherous conditions, saying there was little chance of finding them. But relatives of the missing men set up a petition to urge U.S. authorities to resume their search, saying the men, all experienced sailors, could have escaped from the 40-foot (12 metres) yacht on a life raft.

Within 36 hours the petition had attracted over 200,000 signatures and the support of British politicians and entrepreneur Branson, who tweeted "urge for longer search for missing Cheeki Rafiki yacht".  U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ross Rudell said the search restarted early Tuesday for the men, who have been named as captain Andrew Bridge, 21, Steve Warren, 52, Paul Goslin, 56, and James Male, 23, all from southern England.

"All I can tell you is that we have resumed the search," Rudell told Reuters, without giving a reason for the decision or providing any details on the resources involved.

British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the decision. The fate of the four sailors has dominated television and newspaper headlines in Britain with their relatives publicly appealing to devote more time to the search.

"My thanks to the US Coastguard, which has resumed its search for our missing yachtsmen," Cameron tweeted.

On Sunday U.S. Coast Guard Captain Anthony Popiel said it had been a difficult decision to suspend the search but the estimated survival time after a distress alert in extreme conditions at sea was about 20 hours and the crew had searched for 53 hours.

He said that at about noon on Saturday, the crew from the 1,000-foot motor vessel Maersk Kure located an overturned hull that matched the description of the Cheeki Rafiki but could not find any sign of the sailors.

But the families refused to give up and were relieved to hear the search had resumed. "There is still hope. It is a shame that it has taken this long to change their minds to get back out there," Warren's sister Kay Coombes told the BBC.

(By Belinda Goldsmith, Additional reporting by Jack Stubbs in London and Richard Valdmanis in New York, Editing by Mark Heinrich)

 

Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

5th Floating Accommodation for Lerwick

A further accommodation ship, Ocean Atlantic, is due at Lerwick on Monday 27 April 2015 and is on its way from Portland in Dorset. As with the other floating accommodation at the port,

Double Order for Super Gloria Reachstacker

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has gained an order for two Super Gloria reachstackers from Tadarsa Logistics S.L. in Aviles, Spain. The largest reachstackers ever built,

BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants

BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of

Maritime Security

HMS Prince of Wales Bridge Sets Sail

The bridge section of the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier set sail today from Glasgow on its first sea voyage to Rosyth.   Upper Block 07 is where

Iran Moves Ships, Reducing Tensions Near Yemen

A flotilla of nine Iranian military and cargo ships that U.S. officials feared was carrying arms to strife-torn Yemen sailed northeast in the direction of Iran on Friday,

Russia, France Close to Deal on Mistrals

Russia and France are close to reaching an agreement for Paris to cancel a frozen contract on the sale of Mistral helicopter carriers and reimburse Moscow, a Russian

Coast Guard

BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants

BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of

Two Rescued from Sinking Shrimp Boat

Two fishermen were rescued from their sinking shrimp boat by a U.S. Coast Guard aircrew Friday off the coast of Saint Simons Island near Brunswic, Georgia.   Watchstanders

Grounding Kills 1, Injures 2 in Charleston Harbor

One person was killed and two people were injured when a boat ran aground on Shutes Folly off Charleston, South Carolina, late Thursday evening, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

Maritime Safety

BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants

BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of

Two Rescued from Sinking Shrimp Boat

Two fishermen were rescued from their sinking shrimp boat by a U.S. Coast Guard aircrew Friday off the coast of Saint Simons Island near Brunswic, Georgia.   Watchstanders

IMO: Making Ferries Safer

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) domestic ferry safety conference in Manila April 24 has adopted guidelines to aid the process of reducing the mounting

Yachts

Grounding Kills 1, Injures 2 in Charleston Harbor

One person was killed and two people were injured when a boat ran aground on Shutes Folly off Charleston, South Carolina, late Thursday evening, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

‘Row around Singapore Island’ Takes off today

The epic endurance challenge that will see 32 volunteers rowing 140km non-stop around Singapore is starting in less than 24 hours. The project has raised a staggering $450,

NOAA’s National Saltwater Recreational Fishing Policy Opposed

Recently, NOAA Fisheries released the implementation plan to support the latest National Saltwater Recreational Fishing Policy. The policy, announced at the

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1628 sec (6 req/sec)