A historic racing sailboat and its crew of seven have vanished. The schooner, built in 1928, left port in New Zealand at the end of May. A week later on June 4, it dropped out of communication in "very rough," conditions with winds reaching 68 mph and in 26-foot swells, authorities said Thursday. The ship was heading toward Newcastle, Australia.
While the yacht is equipped with a tracking device, satellite phone, and emergency beacon, the ship's beacon has not been activiated. No vessels in the area report having seen the ship, and two extensive sweeps by reconnaissance aircraft have also came up negative.
"No sign of the vessel has been found," Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand search and rescue mission coordinator Kevin Banaghan said. "We do hold grave concerns for the Nina and her crew but remain hopeful of a positive outcome."
The ship was carrying six Americans along with one British passenger.