A missing schooner has been reported from New Zealand. The historical ship is carrying seven passengers. All contact was lost on June 4. Authorities are concerned that the ship, traveling from New Zealand to Australia, has disappeared.
The seven passengers are between the ages of 17 and 73. One British man, age 35; three American men; and three American women are listed as passengers. The Nina is an 85-year-old wooden schooner.
As reported by ABC News, a passenger, who identified herself as “Evi,” contacted Meteorologist Bob McDavitt on June 3 via a satellite call. McDavitt explains that, while the caller remained calm, she asked for advice about a pending storm system.
McDavitt asked for time to study weather charts, suggesting that she call back in a half hour. Evi promptly returned the call. McDavitt advised the crew to follow a southern route. He warned them to take precautions as the storm could produce dangerous wind gusts and high waves.
The following day McDavitt received a text message that read “ANY UPDATE 4 NINA?”
The June 4 text message was the last communication from the missing schooner. Despite numerous attempts, McDavitt was unable to re-establish communication with the ship.
Authorities were contacted on June 14 as no further communication was received.
As reported by the Huffington Post, officials were not initially concerned as a distress call was never received. Additionally, the ship’s emergency location beacon has not been activated.
Air Force planes have conducted two searches of the area, and officials continue their attempt to establish radio contact. As days have turned into weeks, authorities fear for the passengers’ lives.
The crew expected to arrive in Australia June 15. However, difficult weather conditions may have delayed their arrival.
Officials have tried to remain optimistic about the missing schooner, as it is possible the ship simply went off course and lost communication. However, with each passing day, they are losing hope.
[Image via Flickr]