Could This Be Nina's Liferaft?

Schooner searchers hopeful after life-raft sightings.

Nina liferaft possibility

Sightings of a life-raft have raised hopes that the seven people on board missing American yacht Nina may still be alive, the search manager says. A privately funded New Zealand search plane has left Norfolk Island for an area in the Tasman Sea where dozens of people have reported seeing the life-raft, which may be from the missing yacht.

A crowd-sourcing tool exploring 56,000 satellite pictures spotted the bright orange object. Nina carried a bright orange life-raft. The Kiwi plane set out today to try to find the object. EquuSearch senior advisor Ralph Baird is managing the privately funded search and said the satellite image had raised hopes that the schooner's passengers were alive. "We'll investigate that. We'll search this area. Hopefully we'll find and identify what it is exactly. It might even be a life-raft from another vessel. It could be that there is more than one rescue involved here," he said.

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