Nov 21, 2013 11:04 PM by Erin Steuber
This story takes us 8,000 miles away, to the skies off the coast of Australia. That's where a Lafayette mother and father are keeping their eyes peeled on the Tasman Sea, looking for their missing daughter. It's now been 170 days and still no sign of UL student Danielle Wright and the crew of the Nina.
They went missing in June while sailing from New Zealand to Australia. Hundreds of hours have been dedicated to searching for the Nina. Several times satellite images have surfaced resembling the missing yacht, renewing hope in the search. We checked in with the Wrights, who are now taking the search into their own hands.
It's been 11 days of searching, nearly 8,000 miles from home in Australia. That's where Ricky and Robin Wright set up operations on Norfolk Island in the middle of the Tasman Sea.
"We're as close as we feel like we can be to where Danielle and the crew are," said her mother Robin.
Daily planes took off from the island searching as far as 532 miles offshore, near the Middleton Reef.
"It's a beautiful reef area right there. We saw a couple of old boat wrecks on the reef there. So if they did hit right there, they'd be stranded for sure," said her father Ricky.
But there is still no sign of Danielle, nor the Nina.
"I mean we definitely want to be here when they're sighted," said Robin.
Now, operations have moved to Brisbane on the Australian coast; An area where more coastal searches will be focused. To help save money, Ricky is working to get his pilot's license.
"We're looking to see if they hit the beach somewhere out in the middle of no where, because we want to be available to them," said Ricky.
But with the holidays right around the corner, reality is taking it's toll.
"I can't imagine going through Christmas without my daughter. Ricky and I decided we'd stay here through the first of the year if they don't show up. I'm just ready to have her back," said Robin.