Historic Schooner Nina and Crew of Seven Missing Off New Zealand

Nina in 1928  Photo: Paul Gilbert

Nina in 1928 Photo: Paul Gilbert

The 70′ schooner Nina and her crew of seven have been reported missing. They sailed on May 29, from Opua in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand bound for Newcastle, Australia.  They were last hear from on June 4th, 370 nautical miles west of New Zealand.  David Dyche is reported to be the captain of the yacht.  Two other American men and three American women are aboard, aged between 17 and 73 as well as a British man, aged 35.

“Our records show that conditions at the last known position for the vessel… were very rough, with winds of 80km/h (50 mph), gusting to 110km/h (70 mph), and swells of eight metres (26 ft),” said Kevin Banaghan, rescue mission co-ordinator for the New Zealand maritime authorities.

There have been no distress calls from the schooner.Nor has the EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Beacon) been activated. New Zealand Air Force search planes have been dispatched to look for the missing schooner but thus far have found nothing.

The Nina was built in 1928 as a staysail schooner.  She was designed by Starling Burgess for Paul Hammond and was built by Ruben Bigelow on Monument Beach, Cape Cod, Mass.  The schooner quickly earned renown as a racer.  Niña first became famous in the 1928 race from New York to Santander, Spain, which she won in 24 days.  She was the first American yacht to win the Fastnet race and went on have a successful career in yacht racing under several owners.  She has been owned by David Dyche since 1988.  Accordin gto a post in sailblogs.com  by Rosemary A. Dyche, in September, 2008 “Capt. Dyche, wife Rosemary, son David set off on their dream to circumnavigate.”

Thanks to Niall Sinclair and Phil Leon for contributing to this post.

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13 Responses to Historic Schooner Nina and Crew of Seven Missing Off New Zealand

  1. Pingback: Not good news--NINA way overdue - SailNet Community

  2. sawtooth says:

    A giant squid probably got it



  4. Joan says:

    Having sailed the Tasman from Auckland to Newcastle just four weeks ago, I can testify that it was not a wise decision to set out on this passage. Hopefully this historic vessel survived the ordeal, with all souls on board.

  5. abby jenkins says:

    Nina was the first old wooden sailboat I fell for. Sailed with her when Hans VanNess was her captain. I am praying for her safe and quick return to land with all aboard warm and well. My thoughts go out to all concerned.

  6. c wolfe says:

    Sailed on board her summer ’74. She was a pure delight. Have kept in contact with the dyche’s as the have worked this adventure. Very saddened of this news.

  7. H Otto says:

    My wife Penny Kempton sailed on DUEN ,old ketch ,converted Norwegian Shrimper . (many years ago in th 7os) in a gale they sprang a leak in a plank.They had to take turns with a bucket ,finally made it to a
    safe harbour, but they never gave up: She said there ain’t any atheists in the trenches.
    Never give up, the electronics can fail, they are to big to not to be noticed by traffic.
    H Otto Whangarei,sorry to have missed them here.

  8. Matias says:

    Don’t pray. It does not help as there is no god. This said, i hope they find them alive.

  9. Lauren Lannon says:

    Also sailed with Hans Van Ness and a ship full of friends off New England coast; Many fond memories; Sorry to hear this news.

  10. Jeff says:

    Saddened to learn of the Nina’s sinking and loss of life. Spent a wonderful weekend sailing around Nantucket & Martha’s Vineyard some many years ago…

  11. Skip Cruce says:

    I met them when they docked in Panama City, Fl early one morning as little David bolted from the companionway without a stitch on. He was one year old and Rosemary was trying to change his diaper.I leaned from the dock to grab his arm as he ran forward along the rail and hold him until she got dressed enough to retrieve him. We became friends as I was Captain of the Popeye a day charter Kenner ketch 41 overall. Captain David rebuilt munch of Nina in PC before their departure. He and his family will be missed by my wife Teri and me, the Panama City Coastal Cruisers club and many other local sailors.

  12. Jack Macdonald says:

    Very sorry to hear of Nina’s loss. I spent the summers of 1959-1964 on the 68 foot Sparkman Stephens yawl Black Watch. We raced against Nina and Commodore Decoursey Fales many times. We almost always lost. I pray that the souls of those aboard Nina are at peace.

  13. dennis oboyle says:

    My wife and fiends sail hans years ago it was the best .I habe never fogoten those days