Decision to be taken over missing yacht search

09:27, Jul 02 2013
MISSING: From left David Dyche IV, 17, Rosemary Dyche, 60, David Dyche III, 58, cruising on the Nina.
MISSING: From left David Dyche IV, 17, Rosemary Dyche, 60, David Dyche III, 58, cruising on the Nina.

The search for a missing American yacht with seven people on board is to be reviewed, after an air force Orion again failed to find the schooner.

David Dyche III, 58; his wife, Rosemary, 60; and their son David Dyche IV, 17; their friend Evi Nemeth, 73; Kyle Jackson, 27; a woman aged 18, and Briton Matthew Wootton, 35, the only non American, have not been seen since May 29 when they left the Bay of Islands for Australia on the 21m vintage racing schooner Nina.

The yacht was last heard from on June 4 when a text message was sent to a meteorologist asking for advice about continuing to sail in bad weather. Nina, which had been headed for Newcastle, was then about 685km northwest of Cape Reinga sailing in swells of up to 8m and  winds gusting to 110kmh.

Today an Orion carried out a radar and visual search of a 13,000sq km area, centred about 300km north of North Cape.

This evening the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) said that as the search neared the end of its sixth day there had been no sightings of the missing yacht or its liferaft.

So far an area about four times the size of New Zealand had been searched, RCCNZ mission coordinator Geoff Lunt said. Search areas had been determined using drift modelling from the last known position of the yacht on June 4 and two days of coastal searching.

Centre mission coordinator Dave Wilson said forecast poor weather is likely to prevent any further aerial searching for the next two days.

RCCNZ was keeping family and friends of the missing crew informed about the search effort. It was also liaising with Rescue Coordination Centre Australia which was broadcasting on coastal radio, while New Zealand Maritime Radio was continuing broadcasts in this country's search and rescue region.