Massive search fails to find schooner

Nina Paulgilbert1928

The 85-year-old Starling Burgess-designed schooner Nina with seven crew aboard has not been found after an extensive search by SAR elements from New Zealand. The 70-foot vessel departed Opua, New Zealand on May 29, bound for Newcastle, Australia. The schooner was reportedly last heard from on June 4th, when it was approximately 370 miles west of  New Zealand.

According to Kevin Branaghan, who is a rescue mission coordinator for NZ SAR forces, conditions along Nina's course were highly challenging for any vessel. "Our records show that conditions at the last known position for the vessel, on 4 June, were very rough, with winds of 80 kmh (43 knots), gusting to 110 kmh (60 knots), and swells of up to 8m (26 feet). We do hold grave concerns for the Nina and her crew but remain hopeful of a positive outcome."

By Ocean Navigator