HONG KONG -- Rescue teams were searching the waters between Australia and New Zealand on Friday for a schooner carrying seven people after their boat went missing in stormy seas.
Three passengers on the boat, the Dyche family from Florida -- David A. Dyche, 58; his wife, Rosemary, 60; and their son, David -- were on their last sailing trip as a family before David, 17, was to leave for college, according to the Web site of The Australian.
The boat, named Nina, left New Zealand for Australia across the Tasman Sea on May 29, and the crew was last heard from on June 4, when one of the people on board, Evi Nemeth, 73, sent a text message to Bob McDavitt, a meteorologist in New Zealand, saying, "Any update 4 Nina? ... Evi." The message followed a call from Ms. Nemeth saying, "The weather's turned nasty, how do we get away from it?"
On that day, the Tasman Sea was hit by 65 mile-per-hour winds and swells as high as 26 feet.
Rescuers learned on June 14 that the boat was missing and a search began Wednesday, but there have been no signs of the schooner. No distress signal was received by rescue organizations.
Mr. Dyche is an experienced sailor, and he and his family had been sailing around the globe for several years, home schooling their son during their travels. In addition to the three family members and Ms. Nemeth, the boat was carrying a 28-year-old man, an 18-year-old woman and a 35-year-old British man. Their identities were not known. Friends said the family, who lived in Panama City, Fla., often picked up others along the way for their sailing adventures.
Neville Blakemore of the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Center told The Associated Press that the boat probably sank in the storm, but that rescue teams hoped that the crew had survived in a life raft or had somehow gotten to land. The search was centered off the coast of New Zealand near Three Kings Island.
The News Herald of Panama City said that the Dyche family used the 85-year-old schooner in several races, and that they left Panama City five years ago to sail around the world, returning to Florida a few months ago to get a new engine for the boat and visit friends before going to sea again. David Dyche works for a marine transport company.
The family maintained a Facebook page updating their sailing adventures. Mr. Dyche's last posting was May 29, and just the day before he posted: "The Tasman Sea is shooting gales out like a machine gun, living up to its reputation. We are shooting at leaving out after the first one this week. No doubt we will be dancing with one or two of them."
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.