Nov 6, 2013 11:18 PM by Erin Steuber
Thursday morning, a Lafayette mother and father are heading halfway around the world, to Australia, to try and find their daughter.
In June, UL student Danielle Wright, and six others, went missing while sailing from New Zealand to Australia. Since then, hundreds of hours have been dedicated to searching for the crew by plane, and satellite. Just last month there was renewed hope for the search efforts when satellite images surfaced resembling the missing yacht.
Now, the Wright's are heading to Australia with a new plan, to find their daughter, and bring her home.
"I don't plan on coming home without my daughter," said her mother Robin Wright.
It's a trip that the Wright's have been planning for 155 days; That's the last time anyone heard from the Nina and her crew.
"The search was supposed to have started already but it's ben postponed," said Robin. "There's been several things that have kept them from getting in the air already, so we're disappointed about that. But the good news is Ricky (danielle's father) will actually be able to crew."
The Wright's are basing the new search area on an image taken in September showing an object that resembles the Nina.
"The good thing is, is that the boats that have drifted ashore before, like the Scotch Bonnet and the Air Apparent, took five months to reach the Australian shore," said Danielle's father Ricky Wright. "So that's another reason we're going down there, because if they drift ashore then we want to be there for Danielle and the crew."
"I want the first hug," said Robin.
Instead of flying back and forth in the 10,000 square foot search area, they will be flying in a pattern resembling the ever-changing current.
"We're going to a certain location near where that vessel was spotted and then we're going to go out in a circle," said Ricky.
The hardest part for the Wright's has been not knowing what happened to their daughter Danielle, the Nina and the rest of her 6 crew members.
"As long as they're on the Nina they're surviving," said Robin.
The Wright's are planning to stay for as long as they can until they bring everyone home, and they're hoping for a reunion 5 months in the making.
"There's not going to be any word," said Ricky.
"No words. just hugs. Big hugs," said Robin.