Missing: This picture taken in January 2012 shows the 21-metre vintage wooden yacht, Nina, built in 1928, sailing in Northland, New Zealand. Photo: Stephen Western
Gathered in the deep south of the United States, a group of 20 volunteers meet daily in a bid to co-ordinate something of a miracle 130,000km away off the east coast of Australia.
It has now been 90 days since anyone heard from anyone aboard the vintage yacht, the Nina, which vanished while sailing from Opua, in New Zealand's Bay of Islands to Newcastle in NSW.
The official search by NZ rescue authorities ended on July 6 after repeated fly overs of the Tasman Sea covering 737,000 square nautical miles failed to find a trace of the schooner or its liferaft.
Parents think she is still alive: Danielle Wright. Photo: Facebook
But in the six weeks since families of the seven crew on board have gathered in Texas and started their own search effort.
They've been supported by an army of 6000 volunteers scattered across the world who are scouring satellite images online of an area near Norfolk Island. And no one involved has given up hope of finding the six Americans and one Brit alive.
"Our daughter is out there on the ocean drifting," Ricky Wright says of 18-year-old Danielle Wright. "We have hope that they are still afloat and that is the most likely probability."
The Wrights belief that their daughter is alive is bolstered by the experience of those on board. The Nina was skippered by an old salt, David Dyche III, 58, who was on board with his wife, Rosemary, 60, and their teenage son David Dyche IV. They were joined by Ms Wright, adventurer Kyle Jackson, 27, Evi Nemreth, 73, and British man Matt Wooton, 35.
Speaking from their home in Lafayette in Louisiana, the Wrights say it would not be unheard of for all seven to have survived this long at sea. They point to a young family from Arizona rescued earlier this month off the coat of Chile who were lost at sea for 91 days.
The search effort, Bringing Home the Nina and Her Crew, has also flown New Zealand yachting expert John Glennie, who survived 119 days adrift at sea, to Houston to assist their rescue effort.
The search is being co-ordinated by 20 volunteers with Texas Equusearch, a not-for-profit organisation that has helped locate more than 300 missing people predominantly in the US but also overseas.
So far they have been assisted by more than 6000 people who have logged onto a website to search through satellite images of an area just south of Norfolk Island for the Nina or its liferaft.
If they see something of note they mark it on the image. If enough people mark that spot as a point of interest the rescue team in Houston examine it more closely.
They then decide whether to put a search plane in the air flying out from New Zealand. One day's aerial search costs more than $20,000 and the families estimate they have already spent well in excess of $100,000 in their bid to bring the Nina home.
Volunteers recently discovered a orange dot in photographs they hoped might have been the liferaft but subsequent aerial searches have been unable to locate anything at sea.
Along with search efforts, the families of the missing crew are holding regular fund-raisers so they can afford to keep the planes up in the air.
Danielle's mother, Robin Wright said the need to raise money has prevented them from flying to Australia or New Zealand to search.
"People say why don't you go to New Zealand and see what you can do there," she said. "But we have to collect money, we have to bring the money in if we want to find them.
"Otherwise we will just wait for them to show up on shore in three or four months or more."