The US Coast Guard has resumed the search for four missing British sailors whose yacht capsized in the Atlantic Ocean.

Cheeki Rafiki, a 40ft racing yacht, was sailing from a regatta in Antigua back to the UK when it got into difficulties last Thursday.

Contact with the yacht was lost in the early hours of Friday when the crew diverted to the Azores.

The US Coast Guard, Canadian aircraft and three merchant vessels searched for them throughout Friday and Saturday but called off efforts on Sunday amid dangerous weather.

When the search was called off, the men's families voiced concern that this was too early.

They set up an online petition, which attracted more than 150,000 signatures by this afternoon.

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

Relatives of the four men; experienced captain Andrew Bridge, 22, and crew members James Male, 23, Steve Warren, 52, and Paul Goslin, 56, remain convinced that their loved ones are alive.