Jul 1, 2013 2:03 PM
The search for the crew of an American schooner missing en route from New Zealand to Australia ended its sixth day with no sightings of the missing vessel or its life raft.
The 70-foot Nina, with seven people on board, has not been heard from since June 4. One of those passengers, 18-year-old Danielle Wright, is from Lafayette.
To date, the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand has run six searches covering a combined area of more than 613,000 square nautical miles. Two aerial shoreline searches have also been conducted, but no sign has been found of the vessel or its crew.
RCCNZ mission coordinator Geoff Lunt said the search to date has been extremely thorough, covering an area about four times the size of New Zealand. RCCNZ determined the search areas on the basis of drift modelling from the last known position of the yacht.
Lunt said RCCNZ has been in contact with family and friends of the crew and is keeping them informed about the progress of the search effort.
"RCCNZ will evaluate all the areas that have been covered and the information we have gathered, with a view to deciding on the next steps to take," Lunt said.
A New Zealand meteorologist took the last known calls from the seven people aboard an American schooner on June 4, when they asked, "The weather's turned nasty, how do we get away from it?"
Authorities say the skipper of the vessel is American David Dyche. His wife and son are also sailing, as well as one other American man, two American females (including Danielle), and a British man.
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