Lafayette

Aug 22, 2013 1:35 PM

Nina families, searchers reaffirm their belief in crew's health, ask for help in funding search

Members of the team searching for the missing schooner Nina, along with family members of the seven missing crew, held a press conference in League City, Texas, to ask for more help in the search and to reaffirm their belief that the members of the crew are still alive, just waiting to be picked up.

Lafayette businessman Ricky Wright and his wife, Robin, were both on hand to lend their voices to the effort. Ricky Wright has been unwavering in his belief that the survivors will be found. The couple's 18-year-old daughter, Danielle, is one of the missing crew members.

"We can't wait on the military," Ricky Wright said. "We need to keep searching now and need the funds to do so. We will find them."

Robin Wright said everyday she has to think about her daughter eating raw fish and surviving. She closed her copmments with a plea for help to raise money to keep pilots in the sky. She said planned to visit Danielle upon the Nina's arrival in Australia and says now, after meeting the other families and finding out who is on the boat, she is confident of their survival. Robin Wright said she believes they are drifting, awaiting rescue, after having lost the schooner's mast in rough weather in early June.

"They can survive on a life raft," Ricky Wright said. "If they are, they are paddling back to land. Please help us."

Dan Molina of Texas Equusearch said he believes, as do New Zealanders he has spoken to as part of the search, all seven members of the crew are alive. He wants people to call the Department of State to rally support for the search effort.

He also says private resources shouldn't have to be used for search and rescue which is the departments job. They are asking the department of state for help in accessing satellites, rather than depending on private companies like TomNod.

A representative for TomNod, the online site that has been used to "crowdsource" the search for the Nina, said the online search tool is getting global hits from people scouring the satellite images to help find the Nina.

The New Zealand searchers asked for new information that comes available, which wiould allow them to rejoin search efforts. They acknowledged that Texas Equusearch flights have searched areas they previously did not.

As proof that people can survive in that area for extended periods of time, John Glennia told his story. He was stranded in a similar area to the Nina for 119 days. Glennia says the area the Nina is lost in is very survivable.

"You just have to keep looking," Glennia said.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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