Search for missing yacht Nina called off

Last updated 18:55 05/07/2013

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The search for a yacht and its seven crew members, who were sailing from Northland to Australia, has been called off after 11 days.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand this evening confirmed no more searches were planned for the Nina.

The 21-metre vintage schooner set off from Opua in the Bay of Islands to Newcastle on May 19, but has not been heard from since a text message on June 4.

Aboard the Nina, built in 1928, were Americans David Dyche III, 58; his wife, Rosemary, 60; and their son David Dyche IV, 17; their friend Evi Nemeth, 73; Kyle Jackson, 27; Danielle Wright, 18, and Briton Matthew Wootton, 35.

After weather modelling and research, a search and rescue operation was launched on June 25 and has already covered a huge area of the Tasman Sea.

RCCNZ has co-ordinated nine extensive searches for the vessel or its liferaft but all were unsuccessful.

An RNZAF P3 Orion has searched about 737,000 square nautical miles - an area more than eight times the size of New Zealand - without making any sighting. Shoreline searches were also made by fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

Operations manager John Seward said the process for considering a formal suspension of all active searching was under way.

Seward said that regardless of any decision on active searching, RCCNZ will continue to evaluate all the available information and any new information that may come to light.

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