Abby Sunderland Found Safe in the Indian Ocean


Abby Sunderland
Flickr photo by abbysunderland
To everyone's collective relief, Abby Sunderland -- the 16-year-old attempting to sail solo around the world -- has been located in the Indian Ocean and Australian officials are saying she is safe and ready to be rescued.

According to CNN:

"Sunderland's vessel is 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."

Sunderland set sail on January 23 from Los Angeles with the goal of becoming the youngest person to sail around the world alone without stopping. After a few months she had to surrender the world record goal after encountering equipment problems, but she still aimed to finish.

Then on Wednesday, June 9, she posted on her blog. Soon after, she went off the grid.

Her distress beacons were activated and Australian officials were frantically searching for the missing teen.

Her parents had taken quite a bit of flak for their decision to let their daughter go on this journey, and yesterday the general tenor seemed to be "I told you so." And so I wonder how people will feel now.

I can see both sides of this. On the one hand, I admire this girl's bravery and sense of adventure and would love it if my own daughter was as spunky. On the other hand, the idea scares the s@#$ out of me. Truly.

Still, like the child who climbed Everest, I think life is really short and if my child were such a prodigy to have those dreams and aspirations, I would want to believe that I would not hold them back. Maybe. I don't know.

Ask me again when my kids are teenagers.

What do you all think you would do?


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Cafe... Cafe Suzanne

I feel the same as you -- I'll try my hardest not to let my own fears hold my daughter back. I am so happy Abby was found!

mommy... mommyheymommy

I would hold them back.  It is a parent's job to keep their children safe and healthy.  These types of extreme expeditions can wait until adulthood.

madfoot madfoot

Uh, great to be spunky. Not to be foolhardy. If this gal is so into sailing, let her sail around the Chesapeake Bay. She doesn't need to be out on the ocan, risking her life doing what many *adults* aren't able to do. Her parents are foolish and egotistical, and I hope they've learned something about creating safe limits -- but I doubt it.

Don't get me wrong. I totally think it's wonderful to encourage kids to strike out on their own and have adventures. But this wasn't an adventure. This was a publicity stunt and an absolute nightmare of an idea.

29again 29again

Glad that she has been located, and that she is safe!  And let me say that teens do not need to be doing these extreme excursions like circumnavigating the globe in a boat, climbing Mt Everest, etc.  I have successfully gotten one child through the teen years, and have 2 still in them, and 1 yet to reach them.  They just aren't mature enough, and it is irresponsible of the parents to allow it.  Spunk is one thing.  Potentially life-threatening is quite another.

ethan... ethans_momma06

I do believe the boy on Mt. Everest had his father with him, yes? Just a minor difference in detail...

I think it is important to foster and encourage a strong independant and goal oriented child. However I also hope to impart some responsibilty onto them, as well as common sense. Sending my child around the world in a boat so that they can break an arbitrary record is a decision that has neither common sense of responsibility to back it up.

Once they hit 18, I'll be there to help them pack the boat. But at 16 it is my job, my responsibity to ensure their health and safety to the best of my ability and that means solo round the world boat trips are a no no.

fine1956 fine1956

Every dime spent on locating and rescuing this young woman should be billed to her parents.  This was reckless, there is something seriously sick about these parents. thank God she's safe.

1-6 of 6 comments