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US Coast Guard resumes search for missing British yacht crew

Cheeki-Rafiki-051914.jpg

May 19, 2014: This is a undated handout file photo issued by the Royal Yachting Association, via the PA, show the missing yacht Cheeki Rafiki.AP/Royal Yachting Association/PA

The U.S. Coast Guard has resumed looking for four British sailors whose yacht apparently capsized in the mid-Atlantic after a decision to suspend the search Monday caused an uproar.

Spokeswoman Lisa Novak said Tuesday that the search for the crew of the Cheeki Rafiki had been re-started at the request of the British government.

"My thanks to the US Coast Guard, which has resumed its search for our missing yachtsmen," British Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The yacht got into trouble on Thursday about 600 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass. Contact was lost after it diverted to the Azores.

The four crew members were identified by The Royal Yachting Association as Andrew Bridge, 21; Paul Goslin, 56; Steve Warren, 52; and 23-year-old James Male. All four were described as “very experienced offshore yachtsmen,” according to the group.

The Coast Guard, Canadian aircraft and merchant vessels searched for the crew Friday and Saturday, but called off efforts Sunday amid treacherous weather.

“Despite the deep considerations that go into suspending a search, the decision is never easy,” U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Anthony Popiel, chief of response for the 1st Coast Guard District, said in a statement.

But the suspension of the search caused an uproar in Britain. Almost 200,000 people have signed an online petition asking coast guards to keep looking, and families of the missing men appealed to British politicians for help.

Bridge’s grandmother, Valerie, said the family was “delighted” that the search has resumed.

"It might not come to anything but people want them to do it and they are trying,” she said, according to The Independent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.