The families of the yachtsmen missing in the Atlantic are meeting William Hague this afternoon

Daily Echo: Families of missing sailors to meet foreign secretary Families of missing sailors to meet foreign secretary

THE families of the four yachtsmen missing in the Atlantic are heading to Westminster for talks with Foreign Secretary William Hague.

They hope they can convince both UK and US authorities to restart the search for the men which was called off on Sunday.

Darren Williams, uncle of one of the men, 23-year-old James Male from Romsey, says the families are travelling to London for an afternoon meeting.

Daily Echo:

Missing Southampton sailor James Male

He said they would be meeting Mr Hague, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Hugh Robertson, and representatives from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Mr Williams, from Totton, said: “For us the goal is still the same, the meeting is about getting the search restarted.

“Whether that's the outcome we don't know.

“We haven't given up, and we also know there are some sail boats heading back over the Atlantic who are keeping their eyes peeled.

“We just want another air search.”

Leading sailors such as Dame Ellen MacArthur and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and politicians including Southampton and Romsey MP Caroline Nokes and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt have joined the 180,000 people who have signed a petition urging authorities to restart the search for the Cheeki Rafiki's crew.

Daily Echo: The Cheeki Rafiki, which is feared to have capsized in the mid-Atlantic Ocean (Royal Yachting Association/PA Wire)

The Cheeky Rafiki went missing last week

Mr Male and his crewmates - 21-year-old Andrew Bridge from Surrey, 52-year-old Steve Warren and 56-year-old Paul Goslin, both from Surrey - were heading back from to Southampton from the Caribbean to Southampton when the yacht started taking on water.

Contact with the US Coastguard was lost in the early hours of Friday, and a major search operation was launched but called off after two days.

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