Dad refuses to give up on Nina
A businessman whose 19-year-old daughter was on board the missing American yacht, Nina, is organising his own search for it.
The Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand has stopped looking for Nina and the seven people aboard. It was last heard from on June 4 when 685 kilometres west-northwest of Cape Reinga, bound for Newcastle, Australia.
One of those aboard was Danielle Wright, of Louisana. Her father, Ricky Wright, has told US news channel KATC that he will start his own search.
Wright says he has been in talks with Texas Equusearch, a firm that specialises in searching for lost people.
"We just got through with another call," Wright said on Wednesday evening. "We've been talking with Texas Equusearch. They're going to head up things for us."
Wright says one concern is that Texas Equusearch does not own a long-range patrol aircraft, like the P3 Orion which New Zealand had been using in their search for the Nina.
"He's talking with some people down there now," he said.
"We had an hour meeting tonight and a two-hour meeting last night. We are trying to build up some contacts, scrape up some data."
Instead of trying to buy an appropriate airplane, Wright says the plan is to raise enough money to pay New Zealand for the use of its aircraft in future searches.
Nina has been described as unseaworthy and sailed by a skipper who refused to have "gadgets" aboard.
It had no long-range or SSB radio and it's a mystery why its emergency locator beacon was not switched on.
The 21-metre-long Nina had not been out of the water for three years and experts had noted while it was moored in Whangarei that its hull was warped.
It would have failed the standard "Cat-1" inspection Maritime New Zealand imposes on all locally flagged vessels leaving.
Nina, built in 1928, left Opua on May 29 with skipper David Dyche III, 58, his wife, Rosemary, 60, son David Dyche IV, 17, Evi Nemeth, 73, Kyle Jackson, 27 and Wright, all Americans. Also aboard was Matthew Wootton, 35. A leader of the British Greens, he refused on environmental grounds to fly.
- © Fairfax NZ News