A DORSET community is hoping against hope that their friend who vanished with three colleagues after their boat capsized in the Atlantic will be found.

Paul Goslin, 56, worked for 28 years at the Brooklyn House Dental Practice in Sherborne before retiring in 2010.

Mr Goslin, Andrew Bridge, James Male and Steve Warren were onboard the 40ft Cheeki Rafiki yacht, en-route to the UK after attending a regatta in Antigua.

It is believed their yacht capsized after running into difficulties in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, 620 miles east of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, on Thursday, May 15.

US Coastguards initially called off the search in the early hours of Sunday morning after scanning an area of 4,000 miles without finding the crew.

A petition urging the coastguards to restart the search was launched by the family of one of the sailors, attracting more than 190,000 signatures.

Following the mounting pressure, coastguards confirmed they were working with British and Canadian authorities and would relaunch the search using aeroplanes at 3pm yesterday.

Residents of Sherborne spoke of their shock at the incident.

Sherborne Town Mayor Cllr Jon Andrews said: “Paul was a dentist in Sherborne for many, many years, and he has looked at my teeth on many occasions.

“He was a very good dentist and was very well known in the town.”

“There is always hope that he will be found and let’s hope they locate them somewhere, because it is a vast, vast ocean.

“Many people in Sherborne know Paul and respect what he did in the dental world, so everyone is hoping he is found soon.”

Dominic Elliot, town and district councillor, said: “It is absolutely terrible what has happened to Paul.

“I would imagine it is quite a small raft they are on in very high waters, so they would be extremely difficult to see.

“When I first heard that they had abandoned the search I thought it was a little bit premature.

“Paul was a very genuine person and incredibly well respected.”

Cllr Elliot added that it was more bad news for the town, with the men going missing a year on from the tragic death of gold medal winning Olympic athlete and Sherborne resident Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson.

Mr Goslin’s wife, Cressida, said: “The evidence suggests that because they knew there was a water leak, they had time to prepare to put a life-raft in the water.

“We don’t want to leave any stone unturned, it is a very short window of opportunity – we are realistic.

“If we had another two or three days and they don’t find anything or they find bodies, or whatever happened, I think everyone would just feel they have some closure.”

Weather conditions in the area where the men went missing were described as treacherous, with winds in excess of 50 knots, waves of 15 to 20 feet and visibility reduced to under a mile.

Following the relaunch of the search, five-time gold medal Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie tweeted: “Thank you for resuming the search for the British sailors in the Atlantic. #keepsearching #cheekirafiki”

Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: “My thanks to the US Coastguard, which has resumed its search for our missing yachtsmen.”