US teen sailor found

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by zhuk, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. zhuk

    zhuk New Member

    Airbus nears search zone for teen sailor Abby Sunderland


    UPDATED: Tony Barrass, The Australian

    June 11, 2010 4:46PM

    AN AMERICAN teenage solo sailor who went missing in rough Indian Ocean seas has been found safe and well with her vessel, her father says.

    "She's fine, the boat's afloat and she's on it,'' Laurence Sutherland told ABC. "It's huge, fantastic, exciting news.''

    Searchers made contact with 16-year-old Abby Sunderland after a Qantas plane was sent to search the area, about 2000 nautical miles off the coast of Western Australia.

    11 West Australian State Emergency Service officers trained in aerial spotting, along with officers from the state's Water Police and the Fire and Emergency Services Authority, were on board looking out for Sunderland.

    Sunderland was past the halfway mark of her journey when she hit trouble yesterday morning, activating two manual distress beacons.

    Her father told ABC radio earlier that he thought the boat may have lost its keel.

    “I think what's happened due to drift factor is, I think the keel has been knocked off probably by a submerged object . . . the boat's upside down and she's inside in a cocoon waiting for a rescue.”

    “She's got a dry suit and a survival kit which she will hopefully put on and she'll be able to have everything from hand held water makers, everything that you would need to survive in this hostile environment she's got. She's got a life raft added escape hatch to the door. She knows to stay with the vessel until she needs to step up into her life raft.

    “I've got to trust in the Lord and I'm confident that the Lord's work will be done and Abigail's strength of character will see her through this ordeal.”

    The Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra is co-ordinating the search. Spokesman Carly Lusk said conditions in the area were “extremely poor”.

    “We're experiencing in that area 90km/h winds, so it's quite dangerous.”

    Sunderland 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.

    Mr Sunderland initially thought his daughter's automatic beacon had set off accidentally due to the high winds, but soon discovered she had set off her hand-held emergency beeper.

    Asked if he believed she would be able to handle the situation calmly, Mr Sunderland said he hoped so.

    “However, we all have breaking points and she's had a couple of boisterous days out there,” he said.

    Airbus nears search zone for teen sailor Abby Sunderland | The Australian

    last known position Google Maps

    Lotta ocean to get into trouble in...and yeah Winter down there would be fun :rolleyes:
  2. spittinfire

    spittinfire Active Member Supporter

    She's a lucky girl and obviously can handle herself on a boat. I'm glad to hear she's OK.

  3. Shooter

    Shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Me too. I kept thinking if she failed she would be setting back all teenage circumnavigaters for at least a decade.
  4. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    I was glad to hear she was alright. She should have settled for hanging at the mall.
  5. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

    I was thinking the same, notdku. The struggle she had to go through before she was even allowed to take on such a task was incredible. Glad to hear she is ok and they know where she is. She is much braver than I, and I hope she gets another chance if she wants. She is one strong girl, and I wish her well in everything she tries.
  6. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

    Aparently she was in 30' seas and the sail mast snapped off. I just herd that other than that, the boat looks in good shape from the first reports. I hope she can carry on after repairs or make another attempt soon.
  7. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

    Rescue ship is 24 hours away. Her boat is dead in the water in 30' swells. This young woman has some intestinal fortitude!!

    I salute her courage!!