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
A file photo of the missing yacht.   (AP Photo/Maritime New Zealand)
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(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.