Abby Sunderland Rescue

Posted: June 10, 2010 in boating, sailboats, sailing

abby sunderland

Abby Sunderland Rescue

A rescue operation is under way in the Indian Ocean for 16-year-old sailor Abby Sunderland who is attempting a solo voyage around the world. American teenager Abby Sunderland lost satellite phone contact with her family in California early Thursday, before manually activating two emergency beacons shortly afterward, indicating she and her Open 40 sailboat Wild Eyes may be in serious trouble.

Abby Sunderland set sail on her voyage from California in January amid criticism that her itinerary was too risky because it would place her in the Indian Ocean during the turbulent Southern Hemisphere winter. Her journey had been criticized in some quarters as too dangerous before she set sail earlier this year. Sports columnist T.J. Simers accused Abby Sunderland’s parents of “child abuse” for allowing their daughter to go ahead with her voyage. “Why is any 16-year-old allowed to place herself in harm’s way? Why would any parent allow such a thing?” Simers raged, describing Abby Sunderland’s mission as “outrageous, ridiculous, incomprehensible insanity.”

In a recent news interview, the Sunderlands defended their encouragement of their children’s sailing exploits. “Could there be a tragedy?” mother Marianne Sunderland asked. “Yeah, there could be. But there could be a tragedy on the way home tonight, you know, or driving with her friends in a car at 16. You minimize the risks.”

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has chartered a Qantas passenger jet to fly over the area. The plane is expected to reach the vicinity of Sunderland’s yacht at around 0300 GMT.  A fishing boat, a patrol craft and a trade ship have also been sent to Abby Sunderland’s location, but may not reach Abby Sunderland’s location for over 30 hours.

We all hope she will be found safe and sound, and with a story to tell. is posting the latest news and information about the Abby Sunderland rescue here:  Abby Sunderland Missing

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  1. oldsalt1942 says:

    Is it better to be lost at sea or found at work?

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