Missing American Sailors Presumed Sunk

No sign of schooner off New Zealand with 7 people aboard

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 29, 2013 10:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Hope is fading for the six Americans and one Briton whose schooner went missing off New Zealand in nasty weather. Rescuers now think the 85-year-old wooden sailboat sank sometime after June 4, the last day authorities communicated with the vessel during a storm, reports the BBC. They're not giving up the hunt, however, because it's possible those on board made it onto a lifeboat, perhaps even to land.

The boaters are identified as Captain David Dyche, 58; his wife, Rosemary, 60; their son David, 17; friend Evi Nemeth, 73; Briton Matthew Wootton, 35; a 28-year-old man; and an 18-year-old woman. They left for Australia on May 29 on what was to have been a 12-day sail—a timetable the Australian Maritime Authority calls "overly optimistic," reports Stuff.co.nz. One reason authorities think the vessel sank: They're not picking up any signals from its emergency beacon.

A file photo of the missing yacht.
A file photo of the missing yacht.   (AP Photo/Maritime New Zealand)
This undated photo provided by the St. Andrews Historic Seaport and Commercial Marina in Panama City, Fla., shows American David Dyche, skipper of Nina.
This undated photo provided by the St. Andrews Historic Seaport and Commercial Marina in Panama City, Fla., shows American David Dyche, skipper of Nina.   (AP Photo/St. Andrews Historic Seaport and Commercial Marina)
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