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Unix luminary among seven missing at sea

Evi Nemeth on yacht presumed sunk

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One of the shining lights of the world of Unix, retired CU professor Evi Nemeth, is among a group of sailors missing at sea near New Zealand.

The author of system administration tomes covering both Unix and Linux – and, incidentally a mathematician of sufficient quality to identify problems with Diffie-Helman encryption – has spent much of her retirement sailing.

A sailing enthusiast, Nemeth joined a trip on the vintage schooner Nina, a 21-metre vessel designed in 1928 which won a 1928 race from New York to Santander in Spain. The vessel was also the first American-built yacht to win the Fastnet race.

Nemeth was aboard Nina with David Dyche, captain, his wife Rosemary, their son David, a Briton Matthew Wootton, and others who are yet to be named.

While there has not yet been an official announcement from Australia or New Zealand authorities, Sail World reports that the vessel is presumed sunk.

It had been missing since early June, when the last messages were received from the craft. Nemeth had called and texted meteorologists in New Zealand to ask advice about expected heavy weather, and received advice to head south and ride it out.

Rescuers have been seeking Nina since 14 June, after receiving reports from family and friends of the crew. Aerial searches since 28 June have not found any signs of the vessel, and as Sail World notes, emergency beacons were not activated, suggesting a sudden catastrophe overtook the schooner. ®

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