Couple’s Desperate Search For Lost Daughter, Ricky and Robin Wright are exhausting their life savings to look for Danielle, who went missing in the Pacific., Here’s how Robin Wright sees it: Her 19-year-old daughter Danielle is adrift on the Pacific Ocean but is keeping her spirits up with her six crewmates on their wooden sailboat, the Nina. They’re collecting rainwater, rationing food, singing, telling travel stories and planning their next adventures. Heck, Wright figures, by now Danielle may even have gotten married to one of the three young men aboard. After all, the Nina’s captain is a registered celebrant.
New Zealand authorities see it very differently: They believe the 70-foot (21-meter) schooner likely sank more than eight months ago after getting battered by a storm as the crew attempted to cross the Tasman Sea from New Zealand to Australia. That’s when the boat’s crew stopped using their satellite phone. A search turned up no sign of the vessel and they believe there’s no real chance any of them are still alive.
But Robin and husband Ricky have found it hard to give up the search for their only child. The couple from Lafayette, Louisiana, have spent the last three months living in Australia and spearheading their own search, long after New Zealand authorities gave up. This month, Ricky Wright earned his pilot’s license. His aim was to fly the Australian coastline in hopes of spotting something. Anything.
They’ve spent $600,000 to pay for private plane searches. The money has come not only from their own savings but also from fundraisers, friends, family, even their daughter’s college fund. Deeply religious, the couple says God has kept them strong and determined.