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  1. #1
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    Teen sailor missing mid Indian ocean

    Another teen sailor trying to circumnavigate the world but this one is in trouble. Couldn't have happened in a worse place, right in the middle of the Indian ocean. Emergency beacon picked up and the boat is drifting at 1 knot which means it aint sailing...

    Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- A 16-year-old California girl who is attempting to sail solo around the world triggered a distress signal during rough seas in the Indian Ocean on Thursday, her family said.
    Abby Sunderland's family began scrambling to organize a search-and-rescue effort for her after they learned her emergency beacon was detected just an hour after they last spoke to her, according to Jeff Casher, an engineer on her support team.
    Sunderland's small sailboat was adrift in the middle of the Indian Ocean about 2,000 miles east of Madagascar, 2,000 miles west of Australia and 500 miles north of the French Antarctic Islands, Casher said Thursday afternoon.
    The government of Reunion -- a French island -- diverted a fishing boat toward her last known position, but it is not expected to reach the area until Saturday, Casher said. An Australian military ship, more than two days sail away, has also been dispatched, Casher said.
    Friends in Australia have chartered an Airbus jet to fly over the area at sunrise Friday to see if Sunderland's vessel could be spotted from the air, he said.
    Electronic signals from the boat indicate it is drifting at just a mile per hour, which means it is still afloat but not under sail, Casher said.
    The mast might have fallen or Sunderland could have been injured, preventing her from sailing, he said.
    Sunderland's father, who has been monitoring her journey from their Thousand Oaks, California, home, was emotional, but "he was trying to keep in positive spirits," according to Peter Thomas, a freelance journalist who spoke to Laurence Sunderland Thursday.
    "Abby has all of the equipment on board to survive a crisis situation like this," her family said in a statement on their website. "She has a dry suit, survival suit, life raft, and ditch bag with emergency supplies. If she can keep warm and hang on, help will be there as soon as possible."
    Sunderland began her journey from Marina del Rey, California, on January 23 with the goal of sailing her 40-foot boat around the world without stopping. Mechanical troubles forced her to make two stops for repairs, including at Cape Town, South Africa, in April.
    She's kept in touch with family and followers through a satellite telephone. Her website has published frequent blog updates, including one posted Wednesday.
    "The last few days have [been] pretty busy out here," Sunderland wrote in her last blog entry. "I've been in some rough weather for awhile with winds steady at 40-45 knots with higher gusts. With that front passing, the conditions were lighter today."
    Sunderland is a "very determined" and "very capable sailor," Thomas said.
    "She's pretty much unfazed by most everything, but she had been fatigued by this period of winds which she's been going through for several days now," he said.
    When Abby's older brother Zac sailed around the world alone last year he became the youngest person to ever do so.
    Australian Jessica Watson took over the distinction last month when she completed a non-stop solo circumnavigation just three days before her 17th birthday.
    Abby has been on a schedule to complete her global journey about two months before her 17th birthday, which is on October 19.


    Boats, ships scramble to reach teen drifting in Indian Ocean - CNN.com
    Fahn Cahn's

  2. #2
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    "Boat still afloat" EPIRBS float.
    From what I've read this doesn,t look good.

  3. #3
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    If people wish to undertake this type of activity for personal glory and/or the potential to earn cash from endorsements, that's their decision. However, the world should not be expected to waste resources on searching for a single pleasure boat that has willingly accepted the inherent risks of a solo voyage.

    Call me nasty, but where does it end? It costs thousands of dollars/euros to go off looking for these idiots. It diverts resources away from more important activities like actually rescuing other vessels in distress.
    Kindness is spaying and neutering one's companion animals.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zygote1
    However, the world should not be expected to waste resources on searching for a single pleasure boat that has willingly accepted the inherent risks of a solo voyage.
    If 'the world' had that kind of attitude then we would never have any great achievements to be proud of.

    Quote Originally Posted by zygote1
    It costs thousands of dollars/euros to go off looking for these idiots. It diverts resources away from more important activities like actually rescuing other vessels in distress.
    What would you call an acceptable number of people in distress before its worth rescuing them? 5? 10? or more?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bung View Post
    Abby's older brother Zac sailed around the world alone last year he became the youngest person to ever do so.
    Australian Jessica Watson took over the distinction last month when she completed a non-stop solo circumnavigation just three days before her 17th birthday.
    Did Jessica sail again as she certainly did not circumnavigate the world the first time round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zygote1 View Post
    the world should not be expected to waste resources on searching for a single pleasure boat that has willingly accepted the inherent risks of a solo voyage.

    Call me nasty, but where does it end? It costs thousands of dollars/euros to go off looking for these idiots.
    She's a sixteen year old girl for goodness sakes, little more than a child! You can moralise all you like about the ethics of a sixteen year old undertaking such a venture but to suggest abandoning her is pretty callus of you.

  7. #7
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    Isn't he the same guy who is defending the Jewish treatment of the Palestinians? Hey, Z-whatever, the girl is Jewish can they go save her now?

  8. #8
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    Navy Rescue Divers/Swimmers live for this kind of thing- they'll be 'chomping at the bit' to get out there and rescue the kid.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bung
    Sunderland is a "very determined" and "very capable sailor," Thomas said.
    Obviously not that capable, and it wont be much consulation if she is dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bung
    Friends in Australia have chartered an Airbus jet to fly over the area at sunrise Friday
    Not cheap.

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    The yacht skippered by missing teenage sailor Abby Sunderland has most likely capsized, according to a top sailing news website.

    Sailing website Sail-World.com reported that information obtained from the family indicated the yacht is most likely not floating upright.

    "Latest word from Team Abby is that the boat is drifting backwards at around one knot," the site reported.

    "This indicates that no sails are active and that the yacht is not in an upright position, as it would be drifting at a faster rate in a normal sailing position without sails."

    Rescue teams were called into action last night after the 16-year-old's emergency beacons began signalling as she battled large seas in the Indian Ocean.

    Australian and French crews are heading to the area, with a chartered Qantas jet expected to reach the scene at approximately 2pm (AEST) today.

    Sunderland was past the halfway mark of her solo sailing trip and sailing in an isolated area off Australia's west coast when she hit trouble yesterday.

    Her family and support team have expressed confidence that she is still alive. In an update posted on her official website, the family said that the beacons had been manually activated ó indicating that she had not entered the water.

    A separate beacon, set to turn on automatically if Sunderland enters the water, has not been activated.

    Sunderland's spokesman Jeff Casher said the beacons were continuing to broadcast and GPS location data showed they were together and drifting at 1.6 km/h.

    He believed the beacons were on Abby's boat but said they could be with her on a raft.

    Abby spoke to her parents in the United States just an hour before the distress beacons were activated, telling them she'd been knocked down several times due to the weather.

    "She's got all the skills she needs to take care of what she has to take care of, she has all the equipment as well," said her brother, Zac, himself a veteran of a solo sail around the world at age 17.

    Abby set sail from Los Angeles County's Marina del Rey in her 12-metre boat, Wild Eyes, on January 23 in an attempt to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone without stopping.

    Her brother briefly held the record in 2009.

    On May 15, Queensland teenager Jessica Watson claimed the record after completing a 37,000km circumnavigation in 210 days.

    Watson's mother, Julie Watson, said her daughter and Abby formed a friendship during Jessica's round-the-world trip, and the family was praying for the young American and her family.

    "They've been communicating (Jessica and Abby) and we've been communicating with the family as well," Julie Watson told the ABC on Friday morning (AEST).

    "We heard from them this morning ... they're just waiting for information. Our hearts go out to them."

    Earlier, Watson's spokesman Andrew Fraser said everyone was hoping for the best.

    "We are hoping she's OK and are trying to stay positive," he said.

  12. #12
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    not easy to spot a yacht...specially upturned in the open ocean....especially from a big plane, although if every window seat is filled with lookouts, it would be a lotta eyes looking.

    A friend and I chartered a small plane in Darwin to go search for an abandonded yacth one time....damn hard to find.....when we did find it, we wondered what to do next......I volunteered for my friend to jump out and stay with it until we returned in another boat.....what actually happened...its in me book.
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  13. #13
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    her parent's (and any of her other financial sponsors) should be brought up on charges of child endangerment and (if she's dead) negligent homicide.

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    get a grip....I left home at 16yo and should my parents be locked up for abuse, considering all the accidents i had on the way ?

    Also the purple headed elderly adventurers heading off to Antartica for a looksie and their plane goes down in the ocean....should a search rescue be launched or bad luck granny....keep swimming ?

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat raycarey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty
    I left home at 16yo and should my parents be locked up for abuse, considering all the accidents i had on the way ?
    were you attempting sail solo around the world or something equally stupid?


    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty
    Also the purple headed elderly adventurers heading off to Antartica for a looksie and their plane goes down in the ocean
    errr...they're adults....not sixteen year old children.

  16. #16
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    i hope she is found/rescued safe and sound, shes gutsy and spirited and knew the risks before she left on this adventure. the world needs more people like this who arent afraid of life.

    damn the nannying that people are subjected to these days, and damn any lawyers who think the courts can dampen peoples lust for life.

    congratulations to her parents for letting their daughter off the leash to follow her spirit in such a positive way.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by raycarey View Post
    her parent's (and any of her other financial sponsors) should be brought up on charges of child endangerment and (if she's dead) negligent homicide.
    I think for normal a girl of sixteen with her life experiances and physical strength it's a reckless and foolhardy journey to attempt.
    I wonder if this girl was extraordinary enough to be allowed to attempt it. I also wonder how much of *her* motivation was actualy derived from her *parents* motivation to go glory hunting using their daughter as their proxy ego.
    It wasn't me!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by raycarey
    errr...they're adults....not sixteen year old children
    Take a look at Jessica watsons interview within minutes of stepping dry land....she would put many an adult to shame.....probably a lot on here also.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sdigit
    wonder how much of *her* motivation was actualy derived from her *parents* motivation to go glory hunting using their daughter as their proxy ego
    Doubt you would get any 16yo into a boat and sail around the world alone if they did not really really want to do it.

    She could have just sailed around the corner and shacked up with the boyfriend and sent in reports evey now and again.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by zygote1 View Post
    If people wish to undertake this type of activity for personal glory and/or the potential to earn cash from endorsements, that's their decision. However, the world should not be expected to waste resources on searching for a single pleasure boat that has willingly accepted the inherent risks of a solo voyage.

    Call me nasty, but where does it end? It costs thousands of dollars/euros to go off looking for these idiots. It diverts resources away from more important activities like actually rescuing other vessels in distress.
    You must lead a bitter, lonely life.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bung
    Sunderland is a "very determined" and "very capable sailor," Thomas said.
    Obviously not that capable, and it wont be much consulation if she is dead.
    Dumb statement - You're not able to make a determination on her capabilities until we know what happened.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sdigit View Post
    I wonder if this girl was extraordinary enough to be allowed to attempt it. I also wonder how much of *her* motivation was actualy derived from her *parents* motivation to go glory hunting using their daughter as their proxy ego.
    On what do you base this allegation? Nothing I have read so far indicates to me that her parents are glory hunters.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sdigit
    wonder how much of *her* motivation was actualy derived from her *parents* motivation to go glory hunting using their daughter as their proxy ego
    Doubt you would get any 16yo into a boat and sail around the world alone if they did not really really want to do it.

    She could have just sailed around the corner and shacked up with the boyfriend and sent in reports evey now and again.
    You're missing my point. It's not what the girl wants that's at issue, lots of teenagers want to do crazy stuff for kicks, it's normal.
    What I'm concerned with is this. Is the girls motivation derived from a false sense of
    confidence instilled in her by her glory hunting ego maniacal parents.
    Because If this is the case then the parents are should never have been allowed the authority to allow her to go, they are incompetant.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by raycarey View Post
    her parent's (and any of her other financial sponsors) should be brought up on charges of child endangerment and (if she's dead) negligent homicide.
    Difficult for a whimpy limp wristed person like yourself to understand, but taking on risky endeavors are part of some peoples character, generally life's achievers.

    A friend of mine Paul Dobbs died yesterday while competing in the Is of man TT, he was an older guy at 39 with two children.
    Most people including myself, regard this competition as foolhardy in the extreme but I have also known guys who have competed successfully for years.

    Some people are destined to try and achieve the difficult and dangerous, others are condemned to a life of watching and critiquing their efforts while safely wrapped up in their armchair.

    I had the privilege of knowing a guy by the name of Peter Blake, round the world sailor with many race circumnavigations under his belt, including the record for a circumnavigation of Australia.
    He achieved all this as well as working with, sponsoring and assisting many charities, but his life was taken by something that could happen to any of us when he was murdered while trying to defend him self by an armed robber.
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  23. #23
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    As the son of a man who died too young pursuing a dangerous sport and never resenting him for it (he was a pro and more or less born to it), I still think that kid was too young to be out there alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sdigit
    You're missing my point
    what point ?? you are just guessing at made up crap to suit your made up theory.

    What if...what if she jumped in Dads boat and stole it and set sail all by herself ?? Daddy did not want her to go.....he even stashed the sail, she sewed all her knickers together and made a new one ?

  25. #25
    DaffyDuck
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sdigit View Post
    What I'm concerned with is this. Is the girls motivation derived from a false sense of
    confidence instilled in her by her glory hunting ego maniacal paren
    WHERE. DO. YOU. GET. THIS. IMPRESSION?

    I note you are unable to substantiate this rather serious accusation and allegation - how did you arrive at it?

    This girl is from a culture and country where we encourage crazy achievements. besides, her brother did it the year prior, and the other girl just recent completed the same, so this isn't some crazy first time stunt.

    There are parents out there that encourage their childrens' dreams and desire to pursue a dream, an achievement, or just a crazy adventure. I'm glad there are.

    Sometimes things can go wrong. They also can if you raise your daughter to lead the more safe life of being barefoot, pregnant, and a good wife (or whatever your version of safe is).

    Again, can you support your allegations?

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