Teams Not Giving Up Search for Lost Nina

By: Kati Weis Email
By: Kati Weis Email

After extensive searches of the Tasman Sea, rescue crews say they believe the Nina has sunk. Officials say they've done aerial searches across the waters between New Zealand and Australia, and have seen no signs of the Nina, not even wreckage.

But, family members and search teams alike haven't given up hope just yet.

Cherie Martinez, the sister of the Nina's captain and owner, David Dyche, said Friday, "oh I think he's there. Whether he's alive or not, that's the next decision."

The Nina, an 85-year-old wooden schooner that left port a couple years ago from Panama City, has been lost at sea for several weeks now.

Dyche, his wife, and his son, along with four other crew members left New Zealand for Australia almost a month ago.

A week in their trip, meteorologist Bob McDavitt says he got a text message from Dyche asking for an update on the weather.

That's the last official contact with the crew, and McDavitt says they didn't seem to worried.

"They we're concerned, but they weren't in trouble. They were in control," he said.

Friends and family of the Dyche's say that they were experienced sailors who loved to be on the water.

When they left Panama City a couple years ago, they were intending to go on a four-year journey around the world.

The Tasman Sea is where they got caught up.

Neville Blakemore, a search & rescue spokesman, said that they would have found the boat in the Tasman sea by now.

"A comprehensive search by the Orion in the last couple of days has indicated that if the yacht was still afloat they would have seen it in the search area. So we are assuming that it's not in the search area and it's probably had a catastrophic event, probably around the last known positions on the fourth of June and we're basing our search today based on that information."

Even though the outlook looks doubtful, Dyche's mother says she's keeping hope after a strange phone call she got on June 13.

"I heard static on the phone, a very heavy static, and then a voice said 'Caryl' and then the static got so bad it cut off," said Caryl Dyche.

She says she believes that voice was her son's, and she wants nothing more that to hear it again.

"Just hear this voice, or just hear from somebody that they have found him."

Although search and rescue teams believe the yacht has sunk, they are still continuing to search for wreckage and life rafts.


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