As the deadline for the Cheeki Rafiki search looms, we look at cases of survival in liferafts

Inspiring tales of survival in liferafts:

In November 2008, a British delivery crew spent four days in a liferaft, only four miles from an island near Madeira. Their 44ft motor cruiser, Umbalaika, sank in two minutes after she was swamped – leaving the crew no time to send out a mayday, pick up their EPIRB or collect any supplies.
Adrift: Steven Callahan survived 76 days adrift in the Atlantic after his 23ft yacht Napoleon Solo sank in a storm, 6 days out from the Canaries. He drifted for 1,800 miles, battling gales, sharks and numerous punctures before making landfall in Guadeloupe.
Survive the Savage Sea: In 1972 the six-strong Robertson family spent 37 days adrift after their Schooner Lucette was sunk by Killer whales in the Pacific. Their elderly raft disintegrated after 17 days and they decamped to their 14-ft pram dinghy.
117 Days Adrift: Maurice and Maralyn Bailey spent an astounding 117 days in their liferaft after their yacht Auralyn was sunk by a Sperm Whale in the Pacific in 1973. 7 ships passed but failed to see them, until they were eventually rescued by a Korean fishing boat.
Albatross: True Story of a Woman’s Survival at Sea: In 1982, five American sailors, delivering a 58 foot yacht from Maine to Florida took to their liferaft when the yacht sank in 70 knot winds. The skipper and a crewman drank seawater, became delirious, tried to swim ashore and were eaten by sharks. A third crewmember died from her wounds. The two surviving crew were eventually rescued.
66 Days Adrift: Bill and Simone Butler lasted 66 days in their raft in the Pacific in 1989 after their yacht was sunk by pilot whales. They tore their raft while launching it, but managed to effect a successful repair with two 3 inch clamps.

Cheeki Rafiki

Our thoughts remain with the four missing Cheeki Rafiki crew members: yacht skipper Andrew
Bridge, Paul Goslin, Steve Warren and James Male, their families and friends.

The US Coast Guard has said the extensive search in the Atlantic Ocean will be suspended if there are ‘no further developments’ by midnight tonight (5am GMT).

Picture: A file image from a liferaft test