4 Jul 2013

Nina text message tells of shredded sails

9:22 pm on 4 July 2013

A previously undelivered text message from the missing schooner Nina tells of storm sails that had been shredded and the masts that were bare poles.

The newly retrieved message promised an update in six hours' time, but no other messages were transmitted.

New Zealand Rescue co-ordination centre says information from the message was factored in to a radar search on Thursday of 97,000 sqaure nautical miles of the Tasman Sea.

The 21-metre yacht with six Americans and a Briton on board set sail from Opua in the Bay of Islands to Newcastle in Australia, and was last heard from on 4 June.

Rescue Co-ordination Centre spokesperson Nigel Clifford said searchers have discussed the details of the text message and other search information with representatives of family and friends of the crew. They will decide overnight on Thursday what more searching to do, if any.

The centre has organised eight searches for the 85-year-old wooden Nina. Shoreline searches have also been conducted but there has been no sign of the vessel or crew.