A SOUTHAMPTON sailor is one of four men who has gone missing at sea after their yacht capsized.

Daily Echo:

James Male, 23 (above), has been named as one of the crew who were on the Southampton-managed Cheeki Rafiki racer-cruiser when it capsized.

Now search and rescue efforts have been called off according to Southampton-based Stormforce, which is the managing agent for the yacht, based in Shamrock Quay Marina.

James was on board with Paul Goslin, 56 and Steve Warren, 52, who are both from Somerset, and Andrew Bridge, 21, from Farnham Surrey.

All four were described as "very experienced offshore yachtsmen" by the Royal Yacht Association.

The yacht ran into difficulties and was taking on water in the mid-Atlantic Ocean on Thursday as she returned from a regatta in the Caribbean and contact was lost with the crew in the early hours of Friday as they were diverting to the Azores.

US and Canadian aircraft and merchant vessels looked for them throughout Friday and Saturday but have now called off the search.

Three of the four crew members were named by a Stormforce spokeswoman as Andrew Bridge, 21, Paul Goslin, 56 and Steve Warren, 52.

They are thought to have been delivering the vessel back after it participated in Antigua Week, regarded as one of the world's top regattas.

All three were described as ''very experienced offshore yachtsmen'', but only Mr Bridge was being paid by Stormforce for his role on the yacht.

The fourth crew member was named as 23-year-old James Male.

Stormforce director Doug Innes said it had been in contact with the crew on Thursday and the situation was kept stable.

''They had not been able to ascertain where the water ingress was from and were diverting to the Azores,” he said.

''Unfortunately we lost contact during the early hours of Friday morning and we believe it is possible the crew abandoned to the life raft.

''Search and Rescue authorities were mobilised and a mixture of Canadian and US aircraft along with merchant vessels searched throughout Friday and Saturday.

''Although the search efforts co-ordinated by Boston were exceptional we are devastated that the search has now been called off so soon.

''Our thoughts are with the four yachtsmen and their families and we hope and pray for them all.''

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: ''We are aware of a missing yacht off the East Coast of the USA with four British nationals on board.

''We are in contact with the US Coastguard and have offered consular assistance to the families''.