A search for the missing yacht Nina will be extended tomorrow to a wider area of the Tasman Sea near Norfolk Island, after a second day of searching found nothing.

A Gisborne-based Kiwi Air plane yesterday began a new search for the 85-year-old American vessel after an orange object, believed to be the liferaft was spotted in a high-resolution satellite image.

Search liaison John Funnell tonight (Tue) confirmed a search of the ``higher probability area'' of 65 by 185 km, which had been identified by the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand, was completed today.

"Nothing of any interest was found,'' he said.


A wider search area had been outlined for tomorrow, but poor weather was expected to delay the morning start, Mr Funnell said.

The Nina left the Bay of Islands on May 29 and was headed for Newcastle, Australia. Neither the yacht nor the seven people on board have been seen or heard from since June 4. A search was launched on June 25 but was called off on July 4.

The yacht is owned by professional captain David Dyche III, 58, and his wife, Rosemary, 60. They were on board with son David Dyche jnr, 17, and fellow Americans Evi Nemeth, 73, Kyle Jackson, 27, and 18-year-old Danielle Wright. Also on board was Briton Matthew Wootton, 35.

Family and friends of those on board have refused to give up hope, and have been fundraising to pay for private searches to continue.

Mr Funnell said a decision would be made about further searching at the close of play tomorrow.

"At this stage, they [the families] have enough funding for another day of searching.''