perish at sea
The historic 70-foot Nina is seen in the Azores islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Click image to enlarge. Photo by Woodeboat Forum
A FLORIDA FAMILY and four others are presumed dead and their yacht lost after New Zealand rescuers Friday called off a search for the missing vessel.
The historic 70-foot American schooner Nina was reported missing in a maritime bulletin on June 27 from the New Zealand government.
“Grave concerns are held for the crew … en route from Opua in the Bay of Islands to Newcastle, Australia,” the bulletin said.
The worst fears have now been realized.
A map of the region showing the departure and expected destination of the Nina, now presumed lost at sea with seven aboard.
THE BBC WORLD SERVICE reported Friday morning that New Zealand rescuers had called off their search for the yacht that went missing in waters between New Zealand and Australia last month.
“The Rescue Co-ordination Centre said it did not find any sign of the wooden yacht or the crew of seven after days of extensive aerial searches,” the BBC said.
The 85-year-old Nina set sail from Opua in New Zealand on May 29.
Danger is one of the many aspects of sailing a small craft like the Nina. But the adventure is part of the thrill.
I have always believed in a healthy respect for mother nature; check out my account of our trip to the British Virgin Islands in January 2013, titled: Ultimate Adventure.
The sub-headline reads: “We survive our first life-threatening emergency afloat.”
The Nina, built in 1928, left Opua on May 29 and has not been heard from since June 4, when the vessel was about 370 nautical miles west-north-west of Cape Reinga.
There were seven people on board, six Americans (three men aged 17, 28 and 58, and three women aged 18, 60 and 73) and a British man aged 35.
According to the Maritime Bulletin, the vessel was equipped with a satellite phone, a spot device which allows regular tracking signals to be sent manually, and an emergency beacon. The emergency beacon had not been activated.
The Maritime Bulletin issued by the New Zealand government.
The contents of a last undelivered text message sent by a crew-member on June 4 were released on Thursday.
On Friday a third unsuccessful day of aerial searches took place, scouring the New Zealand coastline.
THE NEW YORK TIMES on June 28 expanded on the details of those aboard.
Gerry Mullany wrote that three passengers on the boat, the Dyche family from Florida — David A. Dyche, 58; his wife, Rosemary, 60; and their son, David — were on their last sailing trip as a family before David, 17, was to leave for college, quoting the Australian.
According to Mullany, “… Nina left New Zealand for Australia across the Tasman Sea on May 29, and the crew was last heard from on June 4, when one of the people on board, Evi Nemeth, 73, sent a text message to Bob McDavitt, a meteorologist in New Zealand, saying, “Any update 4 Nina? … Evi.”
The message followed a call from Ms. Nemeth saying, “The weather’s turned nasty, how do we get away from it?”
The Maritime Bulletin filled in some more details.
“After concerns were raised by family and friends, the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) instigated a communications search on June 14, using a range of communications methods to broadcast alerts to the vessel and others in the area.”
No sign of the vessel had been reported by any other vessel in the area since June 4.
It is a tragic loss, and we mourn for the families and friends of those whose lives were given up to the ocean.
But do not forget: they perished doing something they love. I hope I go that way. May they rest in peace.
FEEDBACK: Contact site admin directly (post a comment below)