A yacht crew are to compete in this year’s Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race in tribute to the four crew lost from the Cheeki Rafiki while raising money for the RNLI.
The men – experienced captain Andrew Bridge, 22, from Farnham, Surrey, and crew members James Male, 23, from Southampton, Steve Warren, 52, from Bridgwater, Somerset, and Paul Goslin, 56, from West Camel, Somerset – got into trouble on May 15 as they sailed back to the UK from a regatta in Antigua.
Overwhelming public support saw the US Coast Guard resume its search for the missing men, who had raised the alarm while some 620 miles east of Cape Cod, having previously suspended it.
But hopes that the missing men might have survived were dashed on May 23 when the 40ft (12m) yacht’s life raft was found still stowed in place, indicating it had not been deployed in an emergency.
A fundraising campaign has now been launched at www.justgiving.com/Cheekirafiki
It said: “Members of last year’s Cheeki Rafiki Fastnet crew were due to take part in this year’s Round Britain and Ireland race with Andy, and were looking forward to sailing with him again.
“In tribute to Andy, and the other members of the Cheeki Rafiki crew – James, Steve and Paul – who were sadly lost, sailing from Antigua, back to the UK, we will now be racing to raise money for the RNLI.
“The RNLI are an amazing UK based charity who save hundreds of lives at sea every year around Britain, and are dependent on donations from people like you. Please give anything you can.”
It has already smashed its initial target of £5,000 with more than 2,000 donations now totalling £19,500.
Mr Goslin, a dental surgeon, grew up in South East Cornwall where he first learned to sail.
His family said he had been “a passionate sailor” and had “loved everything to do with the water”.
“He’d been talking about sailing across the Atlantic for many years,” they said. “We are, therefore, trying to take some comfort in the knowledge that he was fulfilling one of his lifelong dreams.