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New Zealand searchers review tactics in search for missing U.S. vessel


15:49, July 01, 2013

WELLINGTON, July 1 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand search and rescue officials are reviewing their tactics in the search for a United States sailing vessel that disappeared with seven people aboard almost a month ago en route from New Zealand to Australia.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) tasked a New Zealand air force P3 Orion to carry out another unsuccessful search for the 21-meter schooner, Nina, over an area north of the country's North Island Monday.

Aboard the Nina were six U.S. nationals -- three men aged 17, 28 and 58 and three women aged 18, 60 and 73 -- and a British man aged 35, said a statement from the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ).

The vessel, which was built in 1928, left Opua, in the far north of New Zealand, on May 29 for Newcastle, in New South Wales, and had not been heard from since June 4, when it was about 370 nautical miles west-northwest of the northern tip of New Zealand's North Island.

It was equipped with an emergency beacon, which had not been activated.

RCCNZ mission coordinator Geoff Lunt said in a statement that the search to date has been extremely thorough, covering an area about four times the size of New Zealand.

He said the results of the search effort so far would be fully reviewed overnight.

"RCCNZ will evaluate all the areas that have been covered and the information we have gathered, with a view to deciding on the next steps to take," he said.

RCCNZ was liaising with Rescue Coordination Centre Australia ( RCC Australia).

To date, the RCCNZ had coordinated six searches, covering a combined area of more than 613,000 square nautical miles using a New Zealand air force P3K2 Orion aircraft.

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