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This file photo issued by the Royal Yachting Association shows the missing yacht Cheeki Rafiki. / AP

BOSTON (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard will suspend its search for a missing British yacht in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean by midnight on Friday if efforts by American, British and Canadian rescuers turn up no signs of the 40-foot Cheeki Rafiki or its four-member crew.

Capt. Anthony Popiel is overseeing the search and said Thursday that rescue crews have already covered more than 17,000 square miles of ocean and turned up only debris unrelated to the boat.

He says a U.S. Navy warship has joined the search and a Coast Guard Cutter should arrive sometime Thursday night.

Popiel says the British government and the sailor's families are of aware of the Coast Guard's plans.

The Cheeki Rafiki had been returning to England from Antigua when it lost contact Friday, May 16.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Coast Guard: missing U.K. yacht search ends Friday

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