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6 Americans, 1 Briton on sailing trip missing in New Zealand

June 27, 2013 at 9:04 AM   |   Comments

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, June 27 (UPI) -- A historic racing sailboat carrying six Americans and one Briton vanished in the sea between New Zealand and Australia, officials said Thursday.

The 1928 wooden schooner, the Nina, left a northern port in New Zealand at the end of May, but stopped issuing communications about a week later, a maritime safety authority said.

The sailboat was headed to Newcastle, Australia, though when it was scheduled to arrive was unclear.

It dropped out of communication about 400 miles northwest of New Zealand in the Tasman Sea, CNN reported.

The boat is equipped with a tracking device, a satellite phone and an emergency buoy, and none of the technology has been used since early June, CNN said.

A reconnaissance plane conducted two extensive sweeps over the sea, but did not find the vessel.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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