Latest from search and rescue
4 July 2013: 6.00pm
Coordination Centre New Zealand
(RCCNZ) is continuing to assess all available information in the search for the crew of the American schooner Nina, which is missing en route
from New Zealand
. Today's radar
search of more than 97,000 square nautical miles has been completed without any sighting of the vessel.
The 21m (70ft) Nina, sailing from Opua in the Bay of Islands to Newcastle with seven people on board, has not been heard from since 4 June.
On 15 June, RCCNZ obtained from Iridium
, a satellite communications
company, details of the approximate position and actual time (1150 NZST 04 June 2013) of the last transmission
from the Nina
’s satellite phone
Nigel Clifford, Maritime New Zealand’s General Manager Safety
and Response Services, said the position information was then factored into search area calculations, along with other available information.
“As concern for the vessel increased, RCCNZ made further enquiries with Iridium
about all transmissions made from the Nina
’s satellite phone
during the period of interest,” said Mr Clifford.
On 29 June it became known that the last transmission
(a text message), on 4 June, had not been delivered to its intended recipient by the Iridium system. RCCNZ, working with the United States State Department, sought the release of the undelivered text message contents, which RCCNZ received on 3 July.
A copy of the text message follows:
from_unixtime(received_time): 2013-06-03 23:50:25
src_addr: [phone number]
cshort_message: THANKS STORM SAILS SHREDDED LAST NIGHT, NOW BARE POLES. GOINING 4KT 310DEG WILL UPDATE COURSE INFO @ 6PM
Mr Clifford said the contents of the text message were considered, along with all other information, as part of the planning for today’s search. “The text message gives a clearer indication of the condition of the vessel on 4 June, and the weather
that was being experienced at the time,” he said.
“The text message clearly indicates that the Nina
was affected by the storm, but gives no indication of immediate distress
“While it shows that Nina
had survived the storm up to that point, very poor weather
continued in the area for many hours and has been followed by other storms. The text message, in isolation, does not indicate what might have happened subsequently.
“However, the text message states that Nina
’s course information would be updated in just over six hours’ time, at 6pm.
“There have been no further transmissions or messages from the Nina
since the undelivered text message on 4 June. There were also no distress
messages from either of the two distress alerting devices on board (EPIRB and Spot satellite
personal tracker),” Mr Clifford said.
RCCNZ has discussed the details of the text message and other search information gathered to date with representatives of the family
and friends of the crew.
Search and rescue officers at RCCNZ will evaluate all the information and decisions about the search operation will be considered overnight and tomorrow.
New Zealand’s Maritime Radio
is continuing to conduct broadcasts in New Zealand’s search and rescue region, and Rescue Coordination Centre Australia
(RCC Australia) is assisting with broadcasts on coastal radio