14 Year Old Girl Sailor Found in the Caribbean

Posted: December 21, 2009 in boating
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Laura Dekker Sailing

Laura Dekker Sailing

Laura Dekker Found in the Caribbean

St. Maarten –  They have tracked down 14-year-old Dutch sailor Laura Dekker in the Caribbean territory of St. Maarten, days after she ran away from home leaving her sailboat Guppy behind. Laura Dekker made the news earlier this year when she unsuccessfully went to court as a 13-year-old to fight for the right to set off sailing around the world in her boat Guppy, to break Mike Perham‘s world record.

St. Maarten police spokesman Ricardo Henson confirmed that Dekker was on the island Sunday evening, and said efforts are under way to get her back to the Netherlands. He declined to provide further details.

Earlier Sunday, Utrecht police spokesman Bernhard Jens said Dutch authorities issued an international alert after Dekker was reported missing Friday. Jens said Dekker’s boat Guppy, was still moored at its usual berth. “We do not believe this is a crime,” Jens said. Jens would not comment on a report in Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant that Dekker withdrew euro3,500 ($5,000) from her bank account a few days ago. NOS cited a family spokeswoman as saying that Laura left a letter for her father before disappearing. It did not say what was in the letter.

In October, Utrecht District Court refused to let Dekker embark on her attempt to become the youngest person to sail alone around the world, and placed her under the supervision of child care authorities until next July, meaning she could not leave the country without their permission. After the October court ruling Dekker remained confident she would be ready to sail next July and would still be able to set the record as the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe. The Utrecht court first blocked her departure in August out of concern for her safety. The decision sparked a worldwide debate on how much authorities and parents should limit children’s freedom to undertake risky adventures.

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  1. […] Sailboats & Sailing 14 Year Old Girl Sailor Found in the Caribbean: Laura Dekker Found in the CaribbeannSt. Maarten… http://bit.ly/4U2lvK […]

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