The hull of a missing U.K. yacht was located about 1000 miles east of Cape Cod Mass., but there were no signs of the crew. A U.S. Navy warship spotted the overturned hull of the 40-ft British ship that went missing earlier this week, according to ABC News on May 23.
It was a helicopter from the warship that spotted the overturned Cheeki Rafiki. The boat was returning to the U.K. sailing from Antigua with a four-man crew, who were all very experienced, according to the BBC News on May 23.
The U.S. Coast guard reports that a surface swimmer was dropped down to the boat from the helicopter. The name of the boat was confirmed by the swimmer.
He checked the boat for the crew, but found nothing. He knocked on the overturned hull and heard nothing in return. He reached an arm’s length under the surface water and found nothing in the flooded cabin, according to BT.com News today.
Surface swimmers are not trained divers so they do not swim underwater in a capsized boat looking for missing people. The Coast Guard then did a search of the surrounding area for the bright colored raft that the crew would have boarded if their ship was going down. They found nothing.
The search was being called off when the discovery of the hull was made. The Navy crews observed that the ship’s keel was broken off, which caused a hole in the hull. This finding failed to suggest that the crew would still be alive and the Coast Guard is still intending to call off their search.
The U.S. Coast Guard made the announcement yesterday that the search would be called off Friday at midnight, unless new information or sightings “suggested the crew could still be alive.” The latest developments do not suggest that this could be the case.
The boat first radioed of trouble when it was about 620 miles off Cape Cod a week ago Thursday. This week’s search for the crew members turned up nothing.
The U.K. Foreign Office expresses their sadness that the U.S. Coast Guard is planning to call off the search, but “they were prepared for the fact that this would have to happen.” The families of the missing crew met with the Foreign Office today asking about U.K. involvement in continuing the search.
They missing crew members are identified as Paul Goslin, 56, from West Camel, Somerset; Steve Warren, 52, from Bridgwater, Somerset; skipper Andrew Bridge, 22, from Farnham, Surrey; and 22-year-old James Male, from Romsey, Hampshire.