The hopes of locating a family from the Florida Keys aboard a schooner that is missing off the coast of New Zealand were renewed on Wednesday.
Rescue teams have acknowledged they received a text message from a crewmember on the schooner just prior to the boat vanishing.
The message is the only clue authorities have of the fate of the schooner Nina, which is carrying a Tavernier, Florida family, along with four other passengers.
The text read, “Thanks, last night sails shredded by storm, now only bare poles. Will give update info around 6 pm.”
Authorities said a satellite phone was used to send the message on June 3 around 11:50 pm from the schooner that had the seven people aboard.
Because of laws regarding privacy, it took a number of weeks for the government in the U.S. to authorize the phone carrier for the satellite phone to release the only message.
The phone carrier, Iridium, said when they were contacted by the rescue center from New Zealand, they provided the schooner’s last known position in less than an hour.
The message has given rescuers and family members a renewed hope of finding the missing people and schooner. However, it has also created anger over the length of time it took for the message to be released.
On Thursday, aerial searches began again, after being suspended earlier due to poor visibility in heavy rains. Extensive searches from the air over the last week have found no traces of the crew, life rafts or the schooner.