- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Zealand Maritime heads expressed “grave concerns” Thursday over the suspected fate of six Americans who mysteriously vanished at sea more than three weeks ago.

The six — three men, ages 17, 28 and 58 and three women, ages 18, 60 and 73 — set sail from New Zealand to go to Newcastle, Australia, on May 29.

The Daily Mail reported that a seventh man — a 35-year-old Brit — was on board, also.

Their 70-foot schooner fell off radar on June 4, roughly 370 miles west of Cape Reinga in what maritime officials described as “very rough” weather conditions — 68 mph winds and 26-foot swells, NBC reported.

Rescue teams have been combing the area, Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand coordinator Kevn Banaghan said, in NBC.

“No sign of the vessel has been found,” he said. “We do hold grave concerns for the [schooner] Nina and her crew but remain hopeful of a positive outcome.”

Those aboard did not activate the schooner’s emergency beacon, Mr. Banaghan said.

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