AUSTRALIA – One teen’s journey to sail the world almost ended in tragedy!
Abby Sunderland was on a solo mission to sail around the world. He journey hit a major roadblock yesterday when she went missing and realized the biggest fears of her parents and supporters. Good news travels well and Sunderland has been found safe and well.
Her yacht was spotted by an aerial search team in the southern Indian Ocean, midway between Australia and Africa. Three ships are on their way to pick her up – the first of which is expected to reach her in 24 hours.
The brave teenager lost contact with her family about 20 hours, after she said she was caught in 30ft high waves. Shortly after contact was lost, at around 1300 GMT on Thursday, the yacht’s emergency beacons were manually activated, more than 3,220km from the coasts of both Africa and Australia.
A Qantas Airbus A330 search plane scrambled from Perth early on Friday and spotted the teenager’s boat, called Wild Eyes, and made contact with her.
“Wild Eyes is upright but her rigging is down,” her parents posted on her blog. “the weather conditions are abating. Radio communication was made and Abby reports that she is fine!”
Laurence Sunderland said that his daughter would not be continuing her round-the-world attempt once she has been rescued, the AFP news agency reports.
“We’ve got our Abigail back and the quest will be over,” he said. “Knowing that she’s alive and well means so much more to me than any sailing record. It’s just a huge, huge relief.”