Mar 24, 2014 11:32 PM by Alex Labat
A Lafayette man is drawing parallels to the agony of the families of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Like the Malaysia families, their loved one is also missing somewhere off the coast of Australia. Danielle Wright and six others on board the Nina haven't been seen in eight months. The Nina and her crew disappeared in rough weather somewhere between New Zealand and Australia. The search for Danielle and the Nina fell largely on her parents, her dad even learning to fly, conducting searches on his own.
The United States is devoting resources, and millions of dollars in the search for the missing plane, which has three Americans on board. Satellite imaging, drift analysis, money and manpower put forth from the U.S. to find out what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. But Robin and Ricky Wright are asking, "What happened to the Nina?". "With the Nina search, New Zealand put a lot of effort into it and a lot of resources into it, six or eight days worth of searching. And the United States did zero", says Ricky Wright, father of 19-year-old Danielle Wright who went missing last June. It's been more than eight months of meticulously searching the waters between New Zealand and Australia. While the U.S. has spent close to $3 million in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, nothing was spent for the Nina.
Instead, the Wrights spending more than half a million dollars in contributions and their own money trying to find Danielle. They've repeatedly asked for help from both the state and federal government. While a spokesman for Senator David Vitter says the state department will be looking into the case, Danielle's father says there should have been action months ago. "Why do we see all this effort going to the search for Flight 370. No effort was done for the Nina. We had six Americans compared to three. What's the difference between three Americans and six Americans", says Wright. He says the search effort for his daughter will continue, and that there might still be hope the 19-year-old Danielle is out there. Somewhere. "I still believe they're out there. The boats are hard to sink. Now a plane coming down in the middle of the ocean, is probably not going to have any survivors on it. And some of those boats, people were rescued off of them. And the boats were just out there bobbing around for a year. They are very solid vehicles", says Wright.