News Column

Missing Yacht Prompts 'Grave Concerns'

Jun 27 2013 11:20PM

New Zealand's Rescue Coordination Centre says it holds grave concerns for the crew of a 21-metre yacht missing while en route from the northern settlement of Opua in the Bay of Islands to Newcastle in Australia.

The historic racing schooner Nina has not been heard from since June 4, when it was about 370 nautical miles (686 kilometres) west-north-west of Cape Reinga, the northern tip of New Zealand.

Attempts to contact the crew of six Americans and one Briton have been unsuccessful. Evi Nemeth, 73, who is well known in technology circles for her expertise in system administration and networks, is one of those on board.

Search and rescue mission coordinator Kevin Banaghan said in a statement on Thursday that a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion aircraft had completed two extensive searches of the area, on June 25 and June 26.

"Unfortunately, no sign of the vessel has been found. Our records show that conditions at the last known position for the vessel, on June 4, were very rough, with winds of 80 kilometres per hour, gusting to 110 kilometres an hour and swells of up to eight metres. We do hold grave concerns for the Nina and her crew but remain hopeful of a positive outcome."

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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