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  1. #1
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    The Nanny State,not U.K. this time.

    Dutch teenager could be taken from parents over sailing trip
    Child protection officers in Holland have threatened to put a 13-year-old girl into care because she is planning a record-breaking solo sailing trip around the world.

    By Bruno Waterfield
    Published: 9:57PM BST 24 Aug 2009

    Laura Dekker spent Monday pleading with judges and Dutch education and child protection officials
    The voyage, which has the approval of her parents, would take the teenager through some of the world's most dangerous waters.
    Laura Dekker spent Monday pleading with judges and Dutch education and child protection officials to allow her to take her sailing boat, named Guppy, on the voyage, beginning on Sep 1, when she will be 14.
    "My parents always knew it was a dream of mine to do this. And I want to do it while I'm still young, so I can break the record," she said.
    "They've looked after me just fine for 13 years, so I don't see why they would suddenly go wrong now." Dutch MPs debated the case last week. Child protection officials said the teenager might be unable to cope with the risks of round-the-world sailing, including pirate infested seas off Somalia. The trip would also mean she would miss two years of schooling, despite parental promises of distance education using the internet.
    "By travelling solo for two years, this teenager's basic needs would not be met," said Richard Bakker, a spokesman for the Dutch child protection services.
    Dick Dekker, Laura's father, said she was an experienced sailor. "According to the government, all people must apparently be put in the same box. They seem not able to understand that everyone is different," he said.
    "If I were a criminal, mishandling or forcing my daughter to go then you must intervene. But there is nothing at all like that." The youngest world solo-sailor is Zac Sutherland, who finished his 13-month voyage this July aged 17.
    Judges is due to rule on the case on Wednesday view-source:Dutch teenager could be taken from parents over sailing trip - Telegraph

  2. #2
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    A two year solo trip by a 13 year old? Is she heavily insured?

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    I hope she proves the idiots wrong, these PC idiots are ruining Europe and should be put in their place for once.

    If she wants to do it and is has the ability to do so, I wish her all the best of luck, regardless of her age. We need more people like her around

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    Let her go and they say "na na, told you so" if she doesn't make it back.

    That's what the new youngest dutch MP, Charles Rimmer, aged 6 told me.

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    Two years absence from the indoctrination program and the example it may set is what's upsetting the authorities. I suppose they'll take her into custody and quash her dreams of sailing the world with anti-psychotic drugs, electro-shock therapy, and heavy counseling sessions to convince her that her parents abuse her and that this is really just a subconscious desire to run away from it all.
    Eat more Cheezy Poofs!

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    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Seems to be one hell of a stretch to chalk this up to some notion of a "Nanny State" or the usual, catch-all, 'PC-ness'.

    This is a child we're talking about. What does commonsense say about allowing a 13yr old girl to undertake an inherently dangerous activity of this nature all by herself?

    Just by way of reference, the current youngest person to have circumnavigated the globe solo is/was a 17yr old boy.

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    Thats ok then!He was a boy!

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    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    ^I think the fact he was 17yrs old is a bit more relevant.

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    So her abillity has no say in the matter and everyone should be defined by their age?

    It's a private decision and the state should have nothing to do with it at all. What do they know about sailing or the girl anyway.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madjbs View Post
    So her abillity has no say in the matter and everyone should be defined by their age?
    Presumably she's experienced and/or skilled in sailing but the problem with that argument is that it applies to everything; you could for example say the same about having sex with 13yr old girls (and just to be clear before the usual suspects wade in I'm not saying you are).

    A 5, 6, or 7yr old might be both able and capable at making themselves a sandwich but that doesn't mean they should be left to their own devices when it comes to being fed. And we're not talking about something so mundane here are we, we're talking about a child undertaking an inherently dangerous journey solo.
    It's a private decision and the state should have nothing to do with it at all. What do they know about sailing or the girl anyway.
    It's not a private decision when it exposes a child to unnecessary risk or danger.

    I think the litmus test would be: can you honestly say you'd be happy for your 13yr old child to do the same. And make no mistake, this is a child we're talking about here.

  11. #11
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    I would let them if I thought they were capable of completing such a journey safely. Just like I would let a 7 year old make a sandwich if they knew how to.

    Nanny states gone mad and parents these days wrapping up their kids in cotton wool balls, is not good at all.

    Obviously she would need to be a very good and experienced sailor to think about doing such a trip. Maybe she is, maybe she isn't. But, if she is, then there should be nothing stopping her.

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    Clearly her parents are beyond STUPID there is no way a 13 yo girl will have the experience to cope, and when she gets in trouble in the southern ocean who ya gonna call? the Aust and NZ taxpayer forks out for another dangerous rescue.

    In the olden times you could get a license to drive legally at 12 years old if you had a rural address, so I got one and thought I was an upcoming Stirling Moss, in reality I didn't have the skills or sense to drive a greasy stick into a pigs arse.

    Mind you my 'ol Lady has a Thai DL and after 3 yrs trying to teach her to drive after she got her licence, I have given up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by madjbs View Post

    Obviously she would need to be a very good and experienced sailor to think about doing such a trip. Maybe she is, maybe she isn't. But, if she is, then there should be nothing stopping her.
    You havn't done much (any) Blue water sailing if you think a 13 yo could have the experience to cope with this proposed trip.

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    Thats what people said to the 17 year old boy when he did it.

    He proved them wrong.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madjbs View Post
    I would let them if I thought they were capable of completing such a journey safely. Just like I would let a 7 year old make a sandwich if they knew how to.

    Nanny states gone mad and parents these days wrapping up their kids in cotton wool balls, is not good at all.

    Obviously she would need to be a very good and experienced sailor to think about doing such a trip. Maybe she is, maybe she isn't. But, if she is, then there should be nothing stopping her.
    Most 13yr olds could probably fire a gun without too much problem, I wouldn't suggest we allow them to start carrying loaded weapons however. I'd also expect that if some parents did allow their children to do so that the authorities would step in and do something about it.

    This is a matter of commonsense, logic and a childs best interests - nothing to do with some ethereal notion of a 'Nanny State'.

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    Age is meaningless.

    I have met many old useless fools who would be incapable of almost anything and quite a few very young people who have amazing ability and talent.

    Why do some people want everything to be so black and white?

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madjbs View Post
    Thats what people said to the 17 year old boy when he did it.

    He proved them wrong.


    Can you honestly not see a difference between a 17yr old and a 13yr old (other than the obvious answer of "4yrs")??

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    Most 13yr olds could probably fire a gun without too much problem,
    We are not talking about "most" 13 year olds are we?

    I am sure there are some very good 13 year old target shooters who use firearms regularly without incident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    Can you honestly not see a difference between a 17yr old and a 13yr old (other than the obvious answer of "4yrs")??
    You are just assuming something based on her age. You have no idea of how capable or mature she actually is. Some 13 year olds act like they are 13 and some don't.

    I had the same kind of problem when I was young, still do actually! (albeit I wasn't doing things quite as serious as sailing around the world) Few things angered me more.

  20. #20
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    A force to be reckoned with ........
    Daily Extended for September 12, 2008 Yahoo extended horoscope Sagittarius 11/22 – 12/21 You're at your best when you're forced to figure stuff out -- and it will be your ability to solve a puzzle that will show important people that you are a force to be reckoned with. See....as predicted prior....

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    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madjbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    Most 13yr olds could probably fire a gun without too much problem,
    We are not talking about "most" 13 year olds are we?

    I am sure there are some very good 13 year old target shooters who use firearms regularly without incident.
    Fine, limit it to a select few 13yr olds then. Point's still the same regardless.

    There are protections and limits in place in societies to protect the young, sometimes from themselves.

    Taking your argument to its logical conclusion we would have kids doing all manner of things at all different ages - how are you going to control that much less discern who is actually ready for what.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by madjbs View Post
    So her abillity has no say in the matter and everyone should be defined by their age?

    It's a private decision and the state should have nothing to do with it at all. What do they know about sailing or the girl anyway.
    Also lost on the fact is that the boy wasn't 17 when he set sail. If it's a 2 year trip he was only slightly older then she is, but he would have much better strength as well..

    Anyway it's the parents decision just as it would be if they had to make a decision about a health procedure and it went wrong.
    It's their responsibility in the end and they have to live with the consequences or rewards which would be great, so, are they gambling her life on a future of fame and notoriety?? Tough question....

    I think on their part it's a win win for them whether she fails or succeeds as either one could bring book deals etc. and all of this drama is just adding to the plot..That thought is disturbing but true....Hopefully she won't fail in the worst way if she does...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrivingForce
    Anyway it's the parents decision just as it would be if they had to make a decision about a health procedure and it went wrong. It's their responsibility in the end and they have to live with the consequences or rewards which would be great, so, are they gambling her life on a future of fame and notoriety?? Tough question....
    and who pays for the rescues?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    Fine, limit it to a select few 13yr olds then. Point's still the same regardless.
    Sorry I can't be bothered to discuss further.

    I would just say that I like to asses and judge people based on their actual ability and not just their age.

    We will just have to agree to disagree.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madjbs View Post
    Sorry I can't be bothered to discuss further.

    I would just say that I like to asses and judge people based on their actual ability and not just their age.
    Me too, within reason.
    We will just have to agree to disagree.
    Fair enough.

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