7 aboard U.S. schooner missing in South Pacific
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A New Zealand meteorologist took the last known calls from the seven people aboard an American schooner: “The weather's turned nasty. How do we get away from it?”
The phone calls and texts ended June 4. More than three weeks later, searchers said on Thursday that they have grave concerns for the crew on the classic 85-year-old wooden vessel that vanished while sailing from New Zealand to Australia. Attempts to contact the crew by radio and an aerial search this week have proved fruitless.
Authorities say the skipper of the 70-foot vessel Nina is American David Dyche. They say there are two other American men and three American women aboard, ages 17 to 73. Also aboard is a British man who's 35.
Messages posted online by friends indicate the boat originally left from Panama City, Fla.
Meteorologist Bob McDavitt said he took a satellite phone call from the boat on June 3. A woman named Evi asked how to get away from the weather. He said to call back in 30 minutes after he had studied a forecast. She did.
“She was quite controlled in her voice. It sounded like everything was under control,” McDavitt said, adding that the call indicated she was concerned about the conditions.
McDavitt said he spoke only briefly to Evi, advising her to head south and to brace for a storm with strong winds and high seas. The next day he got a text, the last known communication from the boat: “ANY UPDATE 4 NINA? ... EVI”
McDavitt said he advised the crew to stay put and ride out the storm another day. He continued sending messages the next few days but did not hear back.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.