Sir Ben Ainslie has thanked the US Coastguard for agreeing to resume the search for four yachtsmen missing in the Atlantic since Thursday.

Tallking to ITV, Sir Ben said: "It's fantastic news.

"There's still a long way to go in terms of finding those sailors out there but we have to say, a huge gratitude to the US Coastguard in getting back out there, and recognise the efforts involved with that."

The US agency had called off the search on Sunday afternoon, but resumed its search after pressure was applied by the UK government.

Cressida Goslin, wife of missing sailor Paul Goslin, described the resumption of the search in the Atlantic Ocean as wonderful as she prepared to meet foreign minister Hugh Robertson before going on to the US Embassy to meet the homeland attache.

Ms Goslin said the families were ready to request a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron to ask him to apply pressure on US president Barack Obama after the Coast Guard called off their search but now do not need to.

She said: "It's been a complete emotional rollercoaster, we've had discussions with the Foreign Office in the night even though the US wouldn't budge and then we thought they would, and then they wouldn't. "We're just really pleased."

"Hopes are still high, they've got much higher in the last hour."

Ms Goslin went on: "It's wonderful, it's so nice. Three or four hours ago we were having interviews saying we would really like them to resume the search and asking to meet David Cameron, and for him to talk to Barack Obama.

"It's worked. And all the media attention has really helped and we're so grateful to everyone."

Asked what the families would now say at their meeting with Mr Robertson, she said: "When we set up the meeting we were going in to plead our case, and I think there's going to be representatives of other organisations in there and just to say why we thought they should continue with the search.

"In the last hour that's all changed so now we're going in to say thank you and to ask them what is involved in the search, what resources they are allocating and how long that might go one.

"This is the beginning of the situation."

But Ms Goslin admitted two days had been lost in the search. She said: "We have, you can't argue with that, but for some of the time the weather was not good and it would have been difficult for air support to have the visibility to do anything anyway so if we've only got a limited amount of searching we need it when it's good visibility."

She added that her husband is medically trained as a dentist so would be "an asset".
Meanwhile, yachtsman James Male's father Graham Male said of the meeting: "As far as we've been told the search is back on. We've been travelling and things have been happening very fast so we don't know actually what we're being offered yet.

"We've got a collection of ideas of what we're going to say, we're going to see what they come up with."

Three planes and six ships have been deployed in the search, with the RAF sending a C130 Hercules on Wednesday morning to join the search.