Sep 26, 2013 4:20 PM by Dwayne Fatherree, KATC TV-3

Family of missing sailors to take petition to D.C.

Representatives for the family and crew of the missing schooner Nina are fighting to get the U.S. State Department to help in the search for the seven missing crew members -- even if they have to fly to the nation's capital to do it.

One organizer confirmed that the State Department received an online petition last week asking for help in searching the waters off Australia's coast for signs of the 70-foot sailboat, which was last heard from on June 4.

"The State Department remains trenchant," said Tim Paynter, one of the search petition's organizers. "They are placing every barrier that they can in the way of finding these sailors. This is an administrative foul up of epic proportions."

The crew of seven includes UL student Danielle Wright of Lafayette. According to Paynter, Danielle Wright's father Ricky Wright will deliver a copy of the petition in person to the State Department in Washington, D.C.

Nina search effort supporters hope the petition will urge the State Department to rev up coast guard, satellites, and Navy ships to help find the ship that has been missing for more than 100 days now.

The petition can be found online at


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