NEW ZEALAND (CBS4)– The search is on for seven people aboard a yacht that is lost at sea. Among those missing is a woman from Boulder.
Retired University of Colorado professor Evi Nemeth is aboard the 85-year-old schooner that is missing. Nemeth, 73, is also an experienced sailor.
Friends said Nemeth’s life after she retired 10 years ago was planned out.
“Her dream was always to sail around the world and that is exactly what she has been doing,” said friend and colleague Trent Hein.
Other Americans aboard the historic schooner “The Nina” include Captain David Dyche, his wife Rosemary and their son David. They are all from Florida.
The crew left from the Bay of Islands in Northern New Zealand on May 28 for a 1,200 mile journey across the Tasman Sea. They haven’t been heard from since June 4.
Rescue crews from New Zealand have spent the past three days searching for the boat but have turned up with no signs.
Crews are worried the boat may have been caught in a storm with 60 mph winds and swells of up to 26 feet.
“So we’re showing it’s not in the search area and probably had a catastrophic event,” said Search and Rescue Officer Neville Blakemore.
Nemeth was the last to make contact. She called a meteorologist by satellite phone saying, “The weather’s turned nasty. How do we get away from it?”
Then came a text, “Any update 4 Nina? Evi”
“I saw that and said that absolutely is classic Evi,” said Hein.
A world-renowned computer scientist, Nemeth partnered with Hein to write what’s considered the Bible for advanced computer system administration, the basis for E-commerce.
It’s been translated into 28 languages. The latest version was written even as she sailed.
“In fact right here in the corner is a picture of Evi sailing off on the seas in her boat,” said Hein.
Hein said he last email to Nemeth was June 7 on her 73rd birthday.
“Evi is tough and smart and I have a lot of hope come tomorrow she’s going to appear somewhere with a bottle of wine in hand and a lot of great stories about some big adventure,” said Hein.
In addition to the satellite phone the crew also has a device that allows them to send tracking signals or an SOS and an emergency beacon. Neither have been activated.