Monday, 1 July 2013

Family still hopes for the best for missing Lancaster man lost at sea


Although the family of Matthew Wootton are pleading for the yacht search off New Zealand to go on, hopes seem to be fading for the environmentalist and the crew of the schooner Nina, some three weeks after it disappeared.

Wootton was on board the famous 85-year-old schooner sailing from the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, to Newcastle on the New South Wales mid-north coast - but the yacht has not been heard from since early June, and The Guardian reports New Zealand search and rescue services are scouring the area for any sign of the missing schooner or its crew.


Above: Matt talks about the global water crisis, and drinks Guinea Pig Poo Water 

A Green party activist, Matthew worked at Lancaster's Folly arts centre before it closed and has been travelling for about three and a half years – mostly in the Americas – and Australia was to be his last stop before heading home, according to his family.

His YouTube and Flickr accounts chart his journey and concerns for the future of our planet. His last public Facebook post is a photograph of him off New Zealand, presumably taken by a fellow crew member of the missing Nina.

His last twitter post reads, simply: "This is going to be awesome" as he prepared to set sail.

Sail World reports that the hope now is that if the Nina has sunk, then some may be aboard a life raft.

Wootton's sister Lara told the Daily Mail her brother was "very environmentally aware" and travelled by boat or public transport when possible.

"He has been staying with local people in all the places he's been and is interested in learning about different cultures."

Before his travels and work at the folly, Matthew worked as a Media Officer for the national Green Party, helping re-brand the organisation, and for TravelSmart Preston.

His travels to the Americas began in New York in January 2010, followed by travel by bus down through Central America and crossing by sail boat into South America. Brought up as a classical musician, his interests include photography, writing, music, people and learning more about this amazing world. A busy writer, he has worked on projects such as the Daily Planet blog and on global and green issues, and the Green Words Workshop project for reframing and popularising progressive politics.

The Register reports that one of the shining lights of the world of Unix, retired professor Evi Nemeth, is also among the group missing at sea near New Zealand who include Captain David Dyche, captain, his wife Rosemary, their son David, Matthew and others who are yet to be named.

virtual-lancaster extends its sympathies to family and friends of Matthew at this worrying time.

1 comment:

eartheart said...

Lovely article - so sad for his friends and Family and the Green movement. A good friend to us in Lancaster