Saturday, August 31, 2013

Satellite Pics Reveal Yachts, You Can Find The Missing Nina


Last 5 Posts

Page 52  Protocol Costing New Zealand and The U.S.
Page 53  Have You Hugged Your Kids Today?
Page 54  Satellite Imaging Could Solve Nina Yacht Disappearance
Page 55  Momentum, Urgency, Grow In Yacht Nina Search
Page 56  They Took the Padre out of South Padre

Tomnod Images Providing Many Leads In Search For Sailors

The Public Is Invited to View Actual 

Photographs Of The Tasman Sea

"Wow! That looks like a raft!" said one message to a TES search lead.

"Hey, Larry, this image looks like a sailboat," said another message.

"Could Someone Please Look At This Image?" H. Marty Schelper, super volunteer asked.

The messages from the Tomnod crowd-source volunteers have been streaming in hundreds at a time.  At the request of Texas Equusearch, (TES) the company, Digital Globe, tasked a satellite to take photographs of likely search areas in the Tasman Sea where the 1928 schooner, Nina, and her 7 crew may be located.  The images are being hosted on a website known as Tomnod, where anyone can look at them.  When a possible target is spotted, the user pins the target.  It is kind of like a video game, but the stakes are for real lives.  You could be the person who discovers the lost Nina and save seven lives!

Satellite Picture of a Possible Target

On June 4th, the last message was received by the Nina crew.  The Rescue Coordination Center, New Zealand, (RCC-NZ) sent out search planes 20 days later.  No sign of the Nina was found, supporting the proposition the yacht did not sink.  Had she sunk, there would be evidence, flotsam, jetsam and things floating.

When RCC-NZ suspended their search, Ricky Wright, the father of crew member Danielle Wright, asked TES to advise him.  Volunteer TES Executive Advisor, Ralph Baird, was assigned with the task.  

How does one find a sailboat in the middle of the vast Tasman Sea?  Baird brought in rocket scientist, some of them volunteers from NASA, fluid physicists, who study how water molecules carry objects, media specialists to help with communications, event planners who help with fundraising, all joined by TES volunteers and concerned family members who are willing to put in relentless hours searching for seven precious lives.

Ricky and Robin Wright Talk To Reporters

Despite likely sightings, some problems persist.  With each passing day the satellite images grow older.  The search is for a raft or the disabled Nina which moves with the tides, current and wind.  It is difficult to review satellite images fast enough. More eyes are needed for Tomnod, or a more efficient method to review satellite images of endless miles of ocean would help. 

When potential targets are spotted it takes resources, deep pockets, to fund scrambling of search aircraft.  The sailors aboard the Nina are ordinary folks who made huge sacrifices to live the sailor's life.  To date, financial resources have been donated by a generous community and a few of the family members.  The most optimal equipment is not available to civilian contractors in this part of the world.

Most frustrating, the U.S. Coast Guard has been prohibited by the Department of State from running drift models which target the path objects spotted might take in the circular currents of the Tasman Sea.  Other efforts to obtain U.S. assistance were foiled by the same State Department office.  The search is using private sources to run those drift models but the private sources require funding which detracts from the search flight budget.

Still, the unified effort to find seven sailors ended on a positive note Friday evening.  A sense of guarded optimism is in the air.  TES is proving satellite imagery as a powerful solution to finding sailors missing at sea.  The potential cost savings over traditional search flights is impressive. An emerging market for satellite data has been identified.  However, improvements in the way that imagery is applied are needed, along with the support of the governments involved.

Please consider a contribution to the TES-Nina search.  

Why not check out the Tomnod website and see if you can find the Nina? 

Please call the Department of State and ask them to support the search for the seven sailors, sometimes referred to as the Nina 7. The phone number is 202.642.4000, choose option #4, then ask for John Kerry's Comment line!  Please leave a message!

Watch for updates from Sailing Savoir Faire as we follow the intensive search for Matthew Wootton, Kyle Jackson, Danielle Wright, Evi Nemeth, David Dyche, Rosemary Dyche and David Dyche, IV.


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