Grave Condern for Missing Historic American Schooner
Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grave concerns are held for the crew of the historic American 21m (70ft) schooner Nina missing en route from Opua in the Bay of Islands to Newcastle, Australia.

The vessel, built in 1928, left Opua on 29 May and has not been heard from since 4 June, 2013, when the vessel was about 370 nautical miles west-north-west of Cape Reinga.

Uncrowned queen of the New York Yacht Club fleet, the incomparable 58-foot staysail schooner Niña was designed by Starling Burgess and built on Buzzards Bay at Monument Beach by Reuben Bigelow in 1928.

There are seven people on board, six Americans (three men aged 17, 28 and 58, and three women aged 18, 60 and 73) and a British man aged 35.

The vessel is equipped with satellite phone, a spot device which allows regular tracking signals to be sent manually, and an emergency beacon. The emergency beacon has not been activated.

After concerns were raised by family and friends, the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) instigated a communications search on 14 June, using a range of communications methods to broadcast alerts to the vessel and others in the area.

No sign of the vessel has been reported by any other vessel in the area since 4 June.

RCCNZ search and rescue mission coordinator Kevin Banaghan said a RNZAF P3 Orion had completed two extensive searches.


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