Search officials decided to stop searching for the Australia-bound missing race yacht, Nina, and decided instead to search for debris due to a possible sinking.
Pictured: Sydney Opera House in Australia.
The search and rescue operation is now headed to the Northland Coast and surrounding outer islands, however poor weather obstructs the rescue efforts, The Otago Daily Times reported.
In an interview with Radio New Zealand, Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Dave Wilson said, "It's most likely not going to happen today because the conditions are going to prevent an effective search. Clearer conditions forecast for tomorrow would enable a more comprehensive search of the area."
Mr Wilson also explained that officials decided that the yacht had been missing due to lack of communication when in fact the yacht has communications system. "there's been no distress signal at all... It was just a yacht that was late arriving at a destination, that in itself wouldn't lead us to be so concerned. Nina has got two separate satellite communication systems on board and a satellite emergency beacon that is an independent system to the other two. Plus it's got two VHF radio systems on board and for there to have been no communication with any of those systems is what's lading us to be quite concerned at this point."
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He also said that rescuers were getting more concerned as they thought of the possibility that any debris from the vessel, should it have sunk, may have been washed away before being found. "If there was something catastrophic that had happened - the sea conditions and the wind, it's likely that any debris on the surface would have dissipated quite quickly."
Meanwhile a second aerial search for the Yacht had commenced this morning according to a report from Stuff.co.nz.
According to the report, Resuce Coordination Centre New Zealand's (RCCNZ) search and rescue officer Neville Blakemore confirmed that a wing aircraft had take-off from Hamilton this morning.
The search aircrafts were launched after the Orion crew search team last night said that if Nina was still afloat there was no way they will miss it.
Mr Blakemore said, "we are concentrating our efforts now on life crafts and debris." However, he also pointed out that the terrible weather condition was dangerous for the recue team to do full search operations.
Mr Blakemore explained, "We don't want to put any of our search crews in danger. We will keep broadcasting but other than that our options are very limited."
The RNZAF Orion conducted searching about 500,000 square nautical miles for the schooner since Wednesday but to no avail.
In an earlier report from The New Zealand Herald, passengers for Nina were identified as David Dyche 58, his wife Rosemary, 60 and their 17-year-old son also named David; 35-year-old British man and three other Americans, aged 18 and 28, and Evi Nemeth, 73. Nina left the Bay of Islands on May 29 headed for Newcastle, Australia.
The last clear contact that the group made was on June 3 Ms Nemeth calling New Zealand meteorologist Bob McDavitt to ask , "The weather's turned nasty, how do we get away from it?"
Ms Nemeth is a popular personality within the technology circles as the matriarch of system administration and technology infrastructure measurement. She has been named as one of the "top 25 women on the web."
Mr McDavitt asked her to call back in 30 minutes after he studied a forecast which she followed. According to Mr McDavitt "She was quite controlled in her voice, it sounded like everything was under control." He then instructed her to head south and get ready for a storm with strong winds and high seas.
He continued sending text messages days after the last call but he received no reply at all.
Authorities began searching on June 14.
The last-known location for Nina was about 685km north-west of Cape Reinga and according to Rescue Co-ordination Centre coordinator Kevin Banaghan, "records show that conditions at the last known position for the vessel were very rough, with winds of 80km/h, gusting to 110km/h, and swells of up to 8m."
Nina was built in 1928 for a race from New York to Spain which it won. Ever since its creation, Nina had win many races around the world.