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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 June 2006, 04:41 GMT 05:41 UK
Yacht's crew missing off Canada
Nova Scotia map
The yacht was last heard from 200 nautical miles south of Halifax
Coastguards are searching for three Britons and an American missing off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.

The yacht of Britons Richard White, 34, Jacek Bielecki, 56, his son Jack, 19, and US citizen Molly Finn, 21, was caught in high winds on Thursday.

Debris has been found near where their last distress call was made, but bad weather has hampered the search.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We're concerned about the safety of those involved. We are following it closely."

The remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto had been causing winds of up to 115mph (185 km/h) and 30ft (9.1m) waves on Thursday.

But conditions had cleared by Friday and the coastguards were able to search more than 6,500 nautical square miles.

They have found a wooden door, a bleach bottle and a petrol can - although none of the items has been directly linked to the missing boat, Free Spirit.

Coastguard spokeswoman Lisa Hennings said: "We are always hopeful that our search and rescue efforts will produce positive results."

The boat was bound for Europe after setting off from Newport, Rhode Island.

Mr Bielecki, who now lives in Newport, has family in Orford, Suffolk.

Coastguard outlines the parameters of the search

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