According to a news story in the Los Angeles Times, a French fishing boat was plowing through the southern Indian Ocean late Friday to rescue 16-year-old Abby Sunderland from her storm-damaged sailboat in what will most likely be the end of her attempt to sail around the world alone. A spokesman expected rescuers to reach her early Saturday, and Abby might have to remain on the fishing boat for several days, as it would probably make its way to Australia, about 2,000 miles away.
Abigail “Abby” Sunderland (born October 19, 1993) is a young American sailor, who in 2010 attempted to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Her brother Zac Sunderland was the first to complete such a journey before turning 18. She initially set sail from Marina del Rey, California in her 40-foot boat Wild Eyes on January 23, 2010, but had to stop in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. She restarted her circumnavigation on February 6, 2010, planning to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted, leaving from and returning to Cabo San Lucas, but autopilot problems then forced Sunderland to stop at Cape Town for repairs.
On June 10, 2010 while sailing in heavy seas and high winds in a remote area of the Indian Ocean, her sailboat was dismasted and she activated her two manual emergency EPIRB distress beacons, triggering a search and rescue effort. The following morning airborne searchers from Perth, Australia spotted her crippled boat and made radio contact with Sunderland, who said she was not injured.
In an interview with MomLogic last January, Abby’s mom, Marianne Sunderland, talked about homeschooling and why she lets her kids follow their dreams.