latitude 38 reported---
¨New Hope in Nina Disappearance
October 16, 2013 – South Pacific Ocean
Close scrutiny of recent satellite
imagery has sparked new hope that the long-missing American schooner Niña may yet be found, and that her seven crew may still be alive.
According to family
and experts, this ship-shaped image is the same size as Niña but Kiwi authorities won't go searching until they have higher resolution images
that the American government
© 2013 Texas
As reported earlier, the 70-ft vessel set sail from from Opua, New Zealand
, May 29 bound for Newcastle, Australia
. New Zealand
search and rescue
resources mounted their largest search ever, but had no luck in locating the schooner or any evidence to confirm she had sunk.
After the search was abandoned, families of the crew enlisted the help of the non-govermental American search organization Texas
EquuSearch. Their staff procured satellite
imagery of areas beyond the original search — apparently prompted by inconsistency between the reported location of two satphone mayday calls. Although not razor sharp, imagery from September 15 clearly shows a hull
shape similar to Niña's, located 184 miles west of Norfolk Island (roughly a third of the distance to Australia's east coast).
The anxious families have implored New Zealand's Rescue
Coordination Centre to resume the search, but they reportedly require sharper, more detailed imagery before they can do so. Ricky Wright, the father of 19-year-old crewmember Danielle Wright, told the New Zealand Herald, "We have been asking the US State Department for help in getting better images
, specifically for better resolution of the September 15 image, but we get no help."
Well-known Auckland-based meteorologist Auckland-based Bob McDavitt was the last person to have direct contact with the Niña in early June. After the satellite imagery was produced he was quoted as saying, "You don't want to take away people's hopes. . . (But) there's about a vessel a day or every other day going past that part of the world." Surviving at sea for four and a half months is not unheard of, but hope diminishes with every passing day.
- latitude / andy¨