Ghostly pictures may shed light on the fate of the seven crew of the missing schooner Nina

Grainy satellite images have given hope to the families of the seven

crewmembers who went missing on an 85-year-old wooden schooner in June.

One

Briton and six Americans were sailing from New Zealand to Australia

when their boat came into difficulty during a storm in the Tasman Sea.

However, new satellite images have recently emerged from a privately-funded search and rescue group hired by the crew’s families depicting a vessel similar in size and dimension to that of the missing 70ft schooner, drifting approximately 184 nautical miles off the coast of Norfolk Island.

Mr Wooton, whose son Ian was aboard the yacht when it went missing, said: “You get the elation of ‘yep, this looks like a really good image‘ but also the downside of ‘How are you going to find it again?'”

The experienced crew were six days into their crossing when the schooner Nina faced winds of 68mph and waves up to 26ft, according to New Zealand maritime authorities.

The last person to make contact with Nina was Bob McDavitt, a meteorologist based in Auckland, who responded to radio messages received from the yacht before the storm on 4th June.

While McDavitt agreed that the images could possibly be Nina, he highlighted: “There’s about a vessel a day, or every other day, going past that part of the world.”

New Zealand maritime official, Nigel Clifford, confirmed that authorities have remained in close contact with the families affected by the disappearance but a new search for the missing schooner will not be launched until a more substantial identification of the vessel can be obtained.

Images from Facebook/Bringing home the Nina and her crew

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