June 11th, 2010
02:53 AM ET

Australian search crews contact missing teen sailor

Australian search crews have made contact with the 16-year-old American girl who was feared lost at sea while attempting to sail solo around the world, according to a family spokesman.

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 on Thursday

Her vessel is believed to be adrift in the middle of the Indian Ocean some 2,000 miles east of Madagascar, 2,000 miles west of Australia and 500 miles north of the French Antarctic Islands.

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Filed under: Australia • U.S.
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Jeffrey

    Sofrito,

    I'm not a redneck (I'm from redneck country though) but there are a lot of people that have to join the military to afford college. Not everyone is blessed like you and are in a position to pay for your children college. I was raised in the sixties by a single mother raising 5 kids thus college was not an option. I'm 47 and just now in a position to attend college.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. AustralianTaxPayer

    So why we do we Australians foot the bill for yet another tiny yacht in distress ? Because it is our duty to do so – we are an island nation and we are responsible for rescue in vast areas of the oceans that surround us. Sure it will cost the Australian tax payer tens of thousands of dollars for scrambling a Qantas airbus with something like 15 trained observers onboard plus crew. Be thankful we are prepared to do so without hesitation and at a moments notice – Abby Sutherland should be. Doesn't matter if it's a 16 year old schoolgirl or any age yachtsman (google RaphaĂ«l Dinelli, Tony Bullimore, Yann Elies). I trust if an Australian such as Jessica Watson or a person from any nation in the world was in a similar situation in the waters around South America or Africa or anywhere then the nations of that area would be ready to assist as well (naive aren't I). Do you think if we refuse to do so it would stop people sailing these waters ? nope.

    Should these people be there anyway ? I have my opinion and it's probably not what you think but that's another discussion. If someone needs help you do it .... well that's what our government (and I) think should be done.

    Maybe one day our government will be reimbursed for their efforts .... maybe (naive again .... sigh).

    June 11, 2010 at 5:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. damiao

    http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com Is there any chance to find her alive?

    June 11, 2010 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. damiao

    http://www.teclasap.com.br with update tips.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. eyewatch70

    I believe it is irresponsible for a minor to have undertaken this effort. There are other brave activities that she could participate in. Perhaps her parents could have arranged for someone to follow behind her boat (or arranged for someone else) – so an emergency rescue would not have to ensue when things go wrong.

    June 11, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. eyewatch70

    I am happy that contact was made and that she is alive. However,I believe it is irresponsible for a minor to have undertaken this effort. There are other brave activities that she could participate in. Perhaps her parents could have arranged for someone to follow behind her boat (or arranged for someone else) – so an emergency rescue would not have to ensue when things go wrong.

    June 11, 2010 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. cjg

    You all do know that her brother did a similiar solo sail last year, right? He too was under 18.

    June 11, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jimmy

    While I am glad she is well,
    I just saw an interview with the family,
    I'm sorry to say they remind me of the Heene's.
    anything for the sake of attention, then let the public foot the bill.

    Just sayin...

    June 11, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Switzer75

    BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL SHES OKAY!!!!!

    June 11, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Paul

    I think folks that are determined to risk their life (climbing mountains, crossing oceans, etc.) should be required to have insurance (or an escrow) that will be able to pay for a rescue mission. I don't have a clue how to enforce that though.

    June 11, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mary June

    There are few people in this world blessed enough to know what it feels like to live out a dream of their own. Abby is in full “living the dream” mode right now and it’s been awesome to see her pick up on the world’s enthusiasm for what she is accomplishing.

    We believe that helping young people like Abby nurture their own dreams can be the greatest gift a parent can give their child. Each child holds their own potential and abilities, their own dreams, their own ideas of the perfect life. And only a parent knows when and how far to allow that child to stretch their wings.

    It is ultimately, their dreams they must follow, their own rainbows they must chase and their own abilities they must live up to. Helping young people like Abby follow their dreams may be the most important job of being a parent!

    June 11, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Australian tax payer

    I have just watched a CNN story about the rescue and they have interviewed some random Australian idiot complaining about how our tax dollars are being used to help rescue a non Australian citizen. To those watching I apologize and please remember that right wing selfish idiots exist all over the planet not just in Australia. ( although recently we seem to have a lot). I am quite happy to have Australia help and pay for the rescue of this brave and adventurous young lady. We are a first world, capable nation and can well and truly afford it.

    Australian spirit is one of kindness and helpfullness that this selfish pig seems not to grasp.

    Happy to see my tax dollars being used to help great people and not selfish idiots.

    Oz tax payer

    June 12, 2010 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lia

    This is another stupid situation that could have been avoided, why the hell would you let a 16 year old sail around the world by herself anything could happen at anytime. Her parents should go to jail and besides that girl should be in school trying to get an education what a damn shame some people just do not know how to value the life of their child..sad sad sad

    June 12, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
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