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Cheeki Rafiki: Families pay tribute to sailors

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Cheeki Rafiki: Families pay tribute to sailors James Male and Paul Goslin

Relatives of two Cheeki Rafiki crew members have paid tribute to the "passionate sailors" after the search for the four men was called off.

James Male, 22, from Romsey, Hampshire, "loved being on the water", they said.

The family of Paul Goslin, of West Camel, Somerset, said sailing across the Atlantic had been one of the 56-year-old's "lifelong dreams".

The yacht was returning from Antigua when it started to take on water. Its upturned hull was found on Friday.

The life raft was still on board.

The other two crew members were skipper Andrew Bridge, 22, from Farnham, Surrey, and Steve Warren, 52, from Bridgwater, Somerset.

In a statement released by the Foreign Office on Sunday Mr Male's family said: "James was a passionate sailor, surfer, kayaker and all round water sport enthusiast as well as being a keen snowboarder and outdoor instructor."

"He loved being in the outdoors and on the water teaching new skills to people. We must therefore try to take some comfort in the knowledge that he was doing something he really loved."

One Saturday, Mr Bridge's family said he would be "dearly missed by everyone who knew him".

And Mr Warren's family said in a statement: "We are very sad that the US has now suspended the search.

Contact with the Cheeki Rafiki was lost on 16 May after it got into difficulties 620 miles (1,000km) east of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

A search for the men was called off by the US Coastguard on 18 May, but restarted on 20 May after a request from the UK government.

That lead to the discovery of the hull on Friday about 1,000 miles (1,600km) east of Massachusetts.

In their statement, Mr Goslin's family said he had "loved everything to do with the water", and paid tribute to their "husband, son, father and grandfather".

They added: "He'd been talking about sailing across the Atlantic for many years. We are, therefore, trying to take some comfort in the knowledge that he was fulfilling one of his lifelong dreams."

Both families said relatives of all four men had drawn strength from each other in the past week.

cheeki rafiki found map

And they thanked everyone involved in the search for the Cheeki Rafiki, including the US Coast Guard, US Navy, Royal Air Force and UK government as well as volunteer yachts who joined in the operation.

Earlier prayers were said for the sailors in Somerset.

Reverend Rose Hoskins, associate vicar in West Camel, said the whole community was "absolutely devastated".

She added: "We've all been on a rollercoaster all week. Hopes raised and now really hopes finally dashed".

*Image credit:  Wikimedia Commons (CC 2.0)
*Original story: BBC News via Google News (search term: cheeki rafiki)
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