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Chattanooga woman has hope brother's ship is still afloat in Tasman Sea

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A Chattanooga woman’s twin brother is captain of this schooner, which went missing while traveling from New Zealand to Australia. Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press. A Chattanooga woman’s twin brother is captain of this schooner, which went missing while traveling from New Zealand to Australia. Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

Rescue crews searching for a classic American schooner carrying seven people believe the boat sank between New Zealand and Australia, although they haven't given up hope of finding survivors.

A Chattanooga woman who's the fraternal twin of the captain of the Nina thinks the 1929 racing schooner may be limping along slowly toward Australia -- undetected by searchers scouring the vast Tasman Sea that separates the two countries.

"We haven't given up hope," said Cherie Martinez, whose brother, David Dyche, 58, is a lifelong sailor. "We think the boat was damaged, and because they [had battery failure] they can't tell us that."

A third day of aerial searches Friday turned up no sign of the 85-year-old wooden sailboat or its crew. The boat left New Zealand on May 29 bound for Australia. The last known contact with the crew was on June 4.

Read more from our news partner the Times Free Press.

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