1 July 2013: 5.00pm
The search for the crew of an American schooner missing en route
from Opua in the Bay of Islands to Newcastle, Australia
, is nearing the end of its sixth day, with no sightings of the missing vessel or its liferaft
The 21m (70ft) Nina
, with seven people on board, has not been heard from since 4 June.
Coordination Centre New Zealand
(RCCNZ) tasked an RNZAF P3 Orion to carry out a radar
and visual search of an area north of Northland today. The P3 Orion departed for the search area, centred 160 nautical miles north of North Cape, at about 8.45am. The aircraft is expected to complete its search in the next hour and return to New Zealand
RCCNZ mission coordinator Geoff Lunt said the search to date has been extremely thorough, covering an area about four times the size of New Zealand. RCCNZ determined the search areas on the basis of drift modelling from the last known position of the yacht on 4 June and two days of coastal searching.
Mr Lunt said RCCNZ has been in contact with family
and friends of the crew and is keeping them informed about the progress of the search effort.
He said the results of the search effort so far will be fully reviewed overnight. “RCCNZ will evaluate all the areas that have been covered and the information we have gathered, with a view to deciding on the next steps to take.”
RCCNZ is liaising with Rescue
Coordination Centre Australia
(RCC Australia), which is assisting with broadcasts on coastal radio
. New Zealand Maritime Radio
is continuing to conduct broadcasts in New Zealand’s search and rescue region.