Cartoon Credit NZ Herald
There is both encouraging news and bad news in the search for the 1928 schooner, Nina, that went missing in the Tasman Sea on June 4th, 2013. The bad news is as always, no one has heard or seen the Nina since she missed a scheduled check in with New Zealand weatherman Bob McDavitt. The encouraging news mostly remains the same. If the Nina was afloat on June 5th, 2013, then she is afloat today.
Of course, the naysayers claim there is no point in searching for the Nina today because the crew could not possibly survive after six months at sea. I love naysayers because they are almost always wrong. John Glennie, who survived 119 days afloat on the upside down Rose Noelle, says if the Nina survived the storm she was battling then, not only is the boat afloat, but the sailors are alive. He says he would have been able to survive for an extended period of time if the Rose Noelle had not bumped into an Island on the East side of New Zealand saving Glennie and his three crew members.
Meanwhile, the families remain guarded in the information they are willing to release about the effectiveness of the original search. Likewise, they say they have no confidence in further lobbying of the U.S. State Department which reportedly intervened to stop U.S. efforts to find the Nina.
The U.S. State Department claims New Zealand says the boat sank so there is no reason to expend U.S. resources. When the U.S. State Department says they are not experts in search and rescue they are right. The sinking of the Nina is one of many scenarios postulated by the New Zealand authorities. Other theories include a likely dis-masting rendering the Nina incapable of navigation. The only thing that is clear, after the most thorough search in the history of New Zealand, not a single trace of the boat was found. It is very rare for a boat to sink without coughing up clues.
Fortunately, not everyone is buying into naysayer claims. Some private pilots are launching their own private search, Operation Nina, to check the barrier islands lying off the East coast of Australia. Numerous boats lost in the Tasman Sea eventually landed on one of those islands or an Australian beach including the Scotch Bonnet in 2012, which was abandoned near the last know position of the Nina.
Some people have inaccurately reported Sailing Savoir Faire as an "activist website" with ulterior motives. Frankly, we lean hard left on the side of the current government in most of our reporting. However, as journalists, we are responsible for reporting the truth. From our perspective, we don't think any of the peoples of New Zealand, Australia, England or the U.S. would be happy to learn 7 sailors are floating in the Tasman Sea in desperate need of help and the respective governments are spending their time passing the buck to each other rather than rolling up their sleeves. We must report exactly that.
Lacking evidence of a sinking, the rational conclusion to make is the Nina is afloat and the sailors need immediate assistance. All sailors might be wise to take the Nina case as a harbinger when contemplating the prospects for rescue while venturing into similar waters.