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Abby Sunderland’s voyage comes to an end

Australian search-and-rescue authorities say Abby Sunderland was just like "a small dot on the ocean" when they spotted her alive on the back deck of her Open 40 Wild Eyes.

Latest news: Abby safe aboard fishing vessel

The American teen vows to try again

"Because I was at the front of the plane, I just happened to spot Abby as she came into the field of view," said Michael Wood, who saw Sunderland's vessel from a spotter plane out of Perth, Australia, according to a post on Abby Sunderland's blog. "We're all mindful that Abby's got a number of hours left so we've all got our fingers crossed."

A crew of 11 volunteers was on board a spotter plane that flew out of Perth, Australia. A second, smaller plane was to leave Perth to conduct another sighting, according to Chris Lawson, spokesman for Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia.

Abby was in very good spirits, according to Will Blackshaw, the organization's task force leader. "The window of opportunity to speak to her was very short, so we had very brief, direct conversations about her health, the condition of the vessel and her communications," he said. "The seas are very rough indeed, and there is a lot of wind and she is obviously going to have a very uncomfortable night of sleep."

The crew instructed Sunderland to activate two more EPIRB devices tomorrow afternoon so rescuers would have a continuous signal.

Abby Sunderland was dismasted about 2,000 nautical miles off Western Australia, which means the end of her solo circumnavigation attempt and, likely, the end of her Scott Jutson-designed Open 40, Wild Eyes.

Sunderland's team notified Soundings at 2:30 a.m. (EDT) June 11 that the 16-year-old was found alive in the Indian Ocean by Australian rescue authorities.

"Wild Eyes is upright, but her rigging is down. The weather conditions are abating," says Sunderland's parents, Laurence and Marianne, on her blog. "Radio communication was made and Abby reports that she is fine!"

The voyage, however, is over, says Laurence Sunderland.

"I don't know how she'll be routed back to us here or where we'll go to meet her, but knowing that she's alive and well means far more to me than any sailing record," he told Australia's ABC news.

Two of Sunderland's three EPIRBs were manually set off in the southern Indian Ocean at about 6 a.m. (PDT) June 10. She activated a PLB attached to her survival suit and activated a manual EPIRB on the boat. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., teen was more than halfway into her attempt to be the youngest solo circumnavigator.

The family says a French fishing vessel has been diverted and will reach her in about 24 hours.

"A plane flew over her at about 11 p.m. [Pacific time] and made contact with her via VHF radio," Laurence Sunderland told Good Morning America. "They got a visual of her boat, which is right-side up but dismasted."

In a June 10 interview with Soundings, he explained how they lost contact with their daughter.

"We were on the satellite phone troubleshooting some engine problems; she couldn't get it started," says Sunderland. Seas were 20 to 25 feet and winds 35 knots. "The call kept getting dropped intermittently, but we resolved the issue with the engine. The call then got dropped [again], but we thought Abby was just making sure the engine was [running] properly."

However, the next call he received wasn't from his daughter - it was from rescue authorities.

"They told me her EPIRB had been set off and the numbers matched perfectly to what we had. There was no question it was her," says Sunderland.

Marianne says while she knew in her heart that Abby was OK, she couldn't help but play out the worst possible scenarios in her head.img_0233

"But I knew the boat would stay afloat. It was designed that way," says Marianne.

According to the family's blog update, the teen sailor has a dry suit, survival suit, life raft and ditch bag with emergency supplies. Wild Eyes is designed for ocean racing and has five watertight bulkheads to help keep her from sinking in the event of major hull damage. It also is designed to right itself.

"I think Abby is a calm person and levelheaded," said her brother, Zac, in the Good Morning America interview. Zac completed a solo circumnavigation in July 2009 at age 17. "She knows that rescue is on the way."

Abby Sunderland had encountered a rough few days in the Indian Ocean before the dismasting, enduring multiple knockdowns in 60-knot winds.

wild_eyesSunderland's trip has been fraught with problems since she set off Jan. 23 from her hometown of Marina del Rey, Calif.

On Feb. 1, she had to put in at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to pick up additional batteries and address other technical issues. She began a "new" non-stop attempt from Cabo San Lucas, recasting the trip from Marina del Rey as a shakedown cruise.

On April 24, Sunderland announced on her blog that her non-stop attempt was officially over because of malfunctioning autopilots. She had to stop at Cape Town for repairs.

Her father and Zac met her there to help with repairs. Sunderland was back on the water May 21.


Related stories
VIDEO: Abby Sunderland: Have boat, will sail
Port for two teen solo-circumnavigators - May 7, 2010
Teen solo sailor's record voyage abruptly ends - April 26, 2010
Another teen sailor to begin circumnavigation - Jan. 22, 2010

Comments (64) Comments are closed
64 Saturday, 12 June 2010 08:13
she'll just do a movie and a book. That should help fund her rescue costs. All the free press she got over the past few days will indeed fuel that fire. It will all work out well in the end. I think her feat was awesome. Go Abby!
63 Saturday, 12 June 2010 06:33
nobody here is wishing ill of abby...we are all glad that she is safe and sound...

but her ambition is to be the youngest to sail around the world...the guinness book of world record will not recognize the feat if she succeeded, the sailing community felt it was foolish...for it encourages others to be the youngest to do the same dangerous adventure...

why couldn't she do it when she is 18...it will still be an accomplishment...wait, then there will be no fame, no talk shows, book deals, movie deals...you think the parents have this in the back of their minds?...lol...they sure milk this story from the beginning...all is well, we are suckers for a good story...
62 Saturday, 12 June 2010 02:43
Lori and H F G, You can tell when a real Sailor is making a comment! I'm glad she knows that help is on it's way. She will sleep better tonight knowing. I'm proud of her,her brother and parents! The hell with the rest of the I'm glad she is safe BUTTTT!!!!!!
61 Saturday, 12 June 2010 02:34
Dick Butler
Glad to hear Abby's safe,now for all you people who think her parents are not fit get a life.As a teenager my parents let my brother and I go to the national drag races in Indianapolis In from Boston Ma. in both 1965&66 because we were responsible. Abby's parents new what their daughter was capable of and gave her wings to do it.I hope she gets to finish this venture at sometime.
60 Saturday, 12 June 2010 02:27
Don, Your a real piece of work! Your the kind of guy that real Sailors can't stand! Go to the club and lean over the rail and fall over for the rest of the real Sailors!
59 Saturday, 12 June 2010 02:21
H F C I agree to anyone that has not sailed OFF SHORE for sixteen years Shut UP!
58 Saturday, 12 June 2010 02:02
Awesome outcome! Abby has more courage than anybody commenting. I got nervous sailing to Catalina. She should be so proud of her accomplishment. That said, my daughter wouldn't do it until she was 18 and I had no say in the matter.
57 Saturday, 12 June 2010 01:59
As a female sailor and a marine industry professional, I am incredibly proud of Abby. What a feat!!
As for those naysayers, it is a shame you can't see that this young woman is not your average kid. Quite the opposite, she is a professional in her own right and deserves the respect that any professional should receive for accomplishing feats we could only dream of!
Right on, Abby!
56 Saturday, 12 June 2010 01:51
gerald guerrero
It's great for young people to have the courage to attempt these around the world voyages. I give her and her brother much love. I'm glad she was found alive. As for her folks, pay the cost of the sar team and we'll call it good. :D
55 Saturday, 12 June 2010 01:27
Everyone of you saying that the parents are bad parents should take a look at your own kids! Do you let them ride horses,play football, gym, motor cross this isn't some asshole parent trying to get on tv like the stupid ballon kid! These are Sailors that go past the entance bouy!
54 Saturday, 12 June 2010 01:16
her parents need to teach her to get down off her high yacht and do something really courageous, such as venture into the ghettos of los angeles and feed and care for the homeless.
53 Friday, 11 June 2010 23:53
I think Abby is very brave and courageous.She grew up sailing and knows more about it then most adults.I think its terrific that she had a dream and went for it, so many kids do nothing.Her parents should be applauded for raising a child that can stand on her own with confidence and maturety. I am sure that it was not an easy decision to let her go but they made every effort possible to assure that she would be safe and the boat could successfully withstand the type of weather she would be in. All scenarios were thought out and planned for.Kids mature at different ages.There are some 25 year olds that act like,and have the common sense of a 12 year old while there are some 16 year olds that have the common sense,knowledge and skill of someone much older. Abby is one of these people. Her dedication and determination is amazing .I wish her and her family the best and i hope she continues to always sail and follow her dreams!!
52 Friday, 11 June 2010 23:36
First let me say I am extremely happy Abby was found alive!! I also agree that she is a remarkable young lady and will become an excellent sailor!! I applaud her for having big dreams and goals, its wonderful, but to do this alone, at 16 & obviously not ENOUGH experience just plain old stupid! I can't believe how many people are applauding this adventure!! It may not be right for other people to judge, but guess what, when you have all the newspapers & media in your business, you're open yourself to be judged. She should have waited until she had more seamanship to do this journey. Everyone commenting knows that but won't admit it because of some misplaced feelings of her being brave or courageous!! How would all of you who are applauding this feel if she hadn't been found? Would it have been wonderful for her to take on the adventure then or would it have been her parents fault for letting her go!! I believe she has a wonderful future ahead of her and will become successful at whatever she does, but to take the risk of losing your child because of breaking a record for someone her age was reckless!! I will not and am not condemning the parents, they probably truly thought they were letting her find herself and do something remarkable. They simply made a mistake!! Abby, continue to dream big and do wonderful things, but take your time and have some teenaged fun before doing so!!
51 Friday, 11 June 2010 23:08
Don Baker
Awesome they found her!! Being involved in sportfishing my whole life, I can relate to what she has gone through. All I can say is, “She is one tough girl”. There’s no way I could have done that expedition alone. I've been intrigued by her quest since she left and have been following it on her internet site at least weekly. When I heard the news that she was lost at sea, I was devastated. I'm truly glad they found her alive and well. Great job Abby!!! You are truly a Hero in my eyes. It takes major courage to embark alone on a journey across the high seas. Get home safe, get some rest, then start sailing again!!!!
50 Friday, 11 June 2010 22:29
The story aside: Who wrote this?

A series of 1-2 sentence "sound bites"

Like the way I'm writing this response.

Are we all too dumb to read a paragraph?

Or is this just A.D.D. friendly writing?
49 Friday, 11 June 2010 22:14
Tim Isaacs
Praise God!! He heard my prayers for you Abby!! Thank the Lord you are alive and well!! WE need alot more sixteen year olds like you on this planet!! It goes without saying the character and maturity level it takes to do what you have done and survived.I'am a 60yr old sailer with a 16yr old daughter and I would love it if she wanted to try and sail around the world some day,heck I would love to do it. Anyway, I'am as proud of you as I would be for my own daughter! Remember a life without adventure isn't a life. Another saying I like is I can teach someone the basics of sailing in about two hours but it takes a lifetime to master it! God Bless you Abby!
48 Friday, 11 June 2010 22:12
I have mixed feelings about Abby. I applaud her bravery and sense of adventure. Very few 16 year olds would do what she did.
Having said that- I also think it is a bit irresponsible of her parents. Yes explorers crossed oceans, but they weren't 16, relatively inexperienced, and alone.
She was not doing this to discover a new world, or to do something to benefit humanity, but for her own personal fame in the record books. I n my mind, that makes her different from explorers.
I do agree that the US Coast Guard, and the governments of other countries are having to spend money to rescue her from her foolishness. No government has the extra money for I certainly hope her parents are paying for all the rescue expenses.
Yes, I would want my children to dream big and go after their dreams., But I would expect them to be prepared to do it.
As for pursuing her "dream", well, not all dreams are achieveable or realistic. Kinda like a four foot tall person dreaming about being a basketball player. Now Abby just has the memory of feeling like a failure to greet her. So, I applaud her sense of adventure and her bravery, but also think she and her parents have been foolish.
47 Friday, 11 June 2010 22:08
karin dimaggio
First of all, I'm glad she's safe and alive. However, what kind of parents allow a 16 year old to take a trip around the world??? Are the parents going to pay for this search and rescue mission?
46 Friday, 11 June 2010 22:06
I am proud of the young lady, and proud of her team and family. Thank god we have not lapsed into a nanny culture of avoiding all risk and danger. People like this show the way forward. The rescue efforts offered valuable experience for all involved. Well done to all involved!
45 Friday, 11 June 2010 21:36
To dream and go for it....she may be only 16 but she did what few of us will...

Praying for you, Abby & family. I know God was with you.
44 Friday, 11 June 2010 21:10
IMHO, right girl (excuse me. right YOUNG WOMAN!) wrong boat. That boat already went around once but not single handed and not non-stop.
43 Friday, 11 June 2010 20:52
Good news to hear that this child is alive! It was definately God protecting her, and thankfully it was a good outcome. People are going to get involved, comment, and talk especially when it posted all over the media..it is what it is, so if we can voice an opinion, thought, it will be done. She is a young female child out sailing alone in a huge ocean, why? Some parents need to learn how to say NO, NO, NO. Now onto the next story.
42 Friday, 11 June 2010 20:47
nicole saucedo
hooray! Im so glad she's safe! It's a bummer she didn't get to finush though... that would have been sweeet!
41 Friday, 11 June 2010 20:21
Thank the LORD she was found alive! But I personally would not have let my minor child do that. I believe in dreaming big but this new generation of parents give their kids too much freedom in my opinion. At 16 she should be at school doing teenage things. I could see if there was some important point, like sailing to help the homeless or deliver aid to another country but really just to set a record? At 16 kids still need guidance, I believe she is courageous but I personally just would not have allowed that without and adult... JMHO
40 Friday, 11 June 2010 20:15
I am happy to see Abby is alive. The parents should be brought up on charges. The parents should have told her and her brother for that matter that they needed to wait until they were 18 or 21 to do this venture.
39 Friday, 11 June 2010 20:12
Jessica H
Maybe all the parents out there should step back and look in the mirror… What are your kids doing? What don’t you know? How bad are your parenting skills? What makes you better? If every one would worry about there own this world would be a better place… 2 many people in everyone’s stuff… Pay attention to you rown family and stop judging others… I am sure your family has enough issues to worry about.. But you are 2 busy on the computer judging others to deal with it!!!!! Thank God she is okay!! Good luck Abby
38 Friday, 11 June 2010 20:10
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
37 Friday, 11 June 2010 19:48
OK Gray
Jessica, Abby, and her brother the year before her, are not like the rest of us when we were 16, and probably not like any 16-year-old that we would likely ever personally know.

They are like Olympic athletes going for the gold -- they started their training with professional trainers since about the time they took their first steps; they made their plans with professional planners to minimize risk and optimize success; their parents and commercial sponsors spent huge amounts to get them to the party.

Do we accuse gymnasts' parents of child abuse when their 16-year-old flies and spins between parallel bars or vaults and flips twenty feet in the air off a spring board? What about skaters and down-hill racers? Who pays when they break their necks, when they need rescuing? Who's at fault?

Even if Abby went down to the sea willy nilly, she is somebody's child and deserves the very best rescue effort. But she was well-trained and prepared by professionals, then had some bad luck, so she deserves the same as the rest of us without the insensitive whining from the skin flints and pompous hypocrites.
36 Friday, 11 June 2010 19:37
Sam D.
I have been following Abby's story along with the story of the young man who summitted Mt. Everest last month. I am glad to hear that Abby is safe. I am sure she is dissappointed for her journey to end this way but, as John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens when you are making other plans" or something along those lines. As for the expense of rescue, I imagine her sponsors insured against such an event or occurance. For enough premium you can insure against anything. Even if not, our tax dollars pay for the U.S. Coast Guard to do provide that very type of rescue despite the nationality of the person(s)in peril. I can think of no better way to spend those dollars (or some other country's) than rescuing a brave and obviously self motivated young girl who will certainly make contributions to others people's lives in the future to account for her rescue. She will pay it forward no doubt.

I am not sure how I feel about the growing trend of the teenagers, such as the young man who summitted Mt.Everest last month and Abby undertaking these challenges. Outside Magazine did a pretty in depth article about it recently. You are inspired by them at the same time you worry about them. I guess that is just what parents do when it comes to the kids they watch grow up whether they are your kids or others.

We were all once that young and quite sure that there was no challenge we could not overcome. We all need more of that in our lives. Way to go Abby!
35 Friday, 11 June 2010 18:42
Mike Braddy
I'm so relieved of the good news of Abby's safety. I have a teen around the same age. I am certain every parent in the world that read or heard about the lost teen ferverently prayed for her as I did. Enjoy the rest of life's journey Abby. You are a special one.
34 Friday, 11 June 2010 18:11
Capt Lou
I wonder about Abby's boat. Do you think the fishermen will take the boat in tow? If not, will Abby leave it behind?

33 Friday, 11 June 2010 17:55
Abby your courage can never be doubted. Someday you will make history. Three cheers!!! Gene
32 Friday, 11 June 2010 17:09
Captain LC
16 and going non-stop, the point was to gain a record that ended with the autohelm stop, so the point was?
31 Friday, 11 June 2010 17:09
THANK GOD Abby is well - as far as her parents - I think its awesome that Abby could dream BIG and have her parents support to guide her to make the best decisions possible. I would have loved to have parents that believed in me that way - and dreamed my dreams with me. Yes she is young - but what happened to her could happen to anyone regardless of age and years of experience. Plus she made it half way - doesnt that make her more than qualified!!! Congratulation parents you raised a fine young lady - can't wait to hear about her future successes. And ABBY - Hope all your dreams come true.
30 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:50
Aly, i second your motion... very well said... that was her decision and from there she will learn what is life about without the pampering of parents all the time it must be a good lesson for all other young people that do not have any desire or goal. i am also sure that the parents agreed with her decision. what happend to her by loosing contact with everyone, could happen even if she was 40 or 50, but today she is ok and for me she is a great yong girl and she will be a great women in life she can be a great leader. her parents, family and friends, must be proud of her.... and why does money have to do with that, life is not only money there are other things in life that is more than money gashh. Aby u must be proud of you and alo your parents.... stay safe and may God be with you till the end. u in my heart.
29 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:50
This is no different than all the parents who push their kids to be overachievers and skip their childhood, then eventually have emotional problems as adults. It happens in sports, acting, modeling, etc. and is just to promote the ego of the parents who push their kids into this. Now she will have to live the rest of her life as the failure in the family that couldn't do what her brother Zac accomplished, and she will always feel inferior. Great job parents! Since the Obama administration is also just ruining our country and spending what we don't have, we might as well have the US taxpayers pay for the rescue! How about people start doing something good for the world and its people instead of pumping up your own egos.
28 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:49
Great Job Abby.....I wish more kids in this country had 1/2 the spirt and drive and determination that you have.

Regarding who is paying for the rescue... Who cares....Is it coming out of any of your pockets? Are tomorrow headlines going to read...Tax increase due to 15 yr old sailor being rescued.

We should be jumping for joy that there are still young people out there with this type of ambition. On the other hand, maybe we want the next generation to just sit in front of a TV all day play video games.
27 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:29
Jim S
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt

Way to go Sunderland's!
26 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:27
How quickly people forget how the very soul of this country was founded on adventure and risk. And even if the only gain from this adventure is a sense of accomplishment, people like Dlawson have no clue what this means. They would rather we all live our lives their way with their values. The day I have to succumb to the wishes of social-liberal nim-rods is the day jump ship
25 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:25
thank goodness shes alive! i was soo excited for her to make it to the end, but things happen, i hope she trys again even if she has to wait a few years, i know the record will be lost but what a great how many people in the world can say today that " i have sailed around the world" GO ABBY!
24 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:24
First off....I am so relieved that Abby is OK!!!

There has been a lot of criticism directed at Abby's parents for allowing a 16yr old to attempt this circumnavigation. I don't subscribe to that notion per se. However I am... and have been since the start.... critical of how this effort was cobbled together in far too short a time frame, (those who followed the saga of purchase on the East Coast, trip to LA and retrofitting in LA, inadequate shakedown cruising, etc, will know what I'm talking about), and then timed such that Abby would be in the Southern Ocean during the winter. The time frame was just unrealistic. All of this so that Abby would complete her trip at a couple of months younger age than Jessica would be at the end of her voyage.

Over the last couple of years I have daily followed the progress of Zac, Mike, Jessica and Abby, and have been thrilled by the successful results for Zac, Mike and Jessica. I also would have been very happy for Abby if she had been successful. But from the start I had a bad feeling that despite the experience of the Sunderland family, prudence lost out to the desire to beat Jessica.
23 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:19
George May
The next time my 16 year old asks to start her profession as a high-rise window washer, I'll still say no.
Perhaps the Sunderland's should have have the same answer.
22 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:18
How is a person who s attempting to do what so few have ever done be spoiled and pampered? A waste of money?? Its her money, who the heck are you to determine how people spend there own money? Your judging of her is pathetic. You want the family to pay for the SAR, fine, but as someone pointed out, these kinds of rescues dont happen without trained SAR personel, they dont get training in a simulator. And what is the difference between this and any other real world operation that takes place somewhat frequently in the world, other than your misplace indignation that is
21 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:14
Individuals have been sailing across oceans and the world for over a century. Tania Aebi did it at 19 a few decades ago in a normal boat with no electronics. The only reason everyone is all over this and complaining about rescue costs is because of detailed and immediate media coverage along with the instant technology of today. In years past you read it as an exciting article in a magazine or as a book. The SARSAT system was developed and EPIRB devices sold to average mariners for rescue purposes. If the rescue authorities did not expect to perform then they would not support use like this. THIS IS HOW THE RESCUE SYSTEMS TRAIN, LEARN, AND DEVELOP!
20 Friday, 11 June 2010 16:08
christopher jenkins
I have very very few heroes and most of them are long gone. I now count among those heroes one courageous young girl, Ms. Abby Sunderland. A mere 16 in Earth years, but so far advanced in the years of the Universe.

In a time when the House of Rothschild seeks to dominate the planet and all her children, we receive a respite in the form of a child who breaks out of the mold and ventures out into the gloom, seeking something else entirely: the wonders of the world, how it all fits together, how things tick, where the end of the world really is.

This morning we heard that Abby is doing well. She’s alive, though having fired off two of her Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB).

When a child of ours leaves the nest and walks into the unknown, we hope for the best, wish all the riches of the world for her, and pray that nothing untoward happens to her.

What we forget is that we learn by failing. We learn the most when things go wrong. And when life goes terribly astray, we become entirely different people altogether.

Abby is a different person today than she was two days ago. Still a child of the Universe, she now has something we adults and grown-ups wish we had: stones.

Hearing others speak of her risking her life for the record books is disappointing on so many levels. For one, she’s not risking anything. She’s gambling her life away. The difference between a risk and a gamble was aptly stated by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. A risk is an action you take such that, if you fail, you can recover. A gamble is an action you take such that, if you fail, there is no recovery. Only destruction or death.

Abby Sunderland, Child of the Universe, My Personal Hero, is on a gambling mission and she’s winning at each turn of her sail. There’s no fun to life without gambles . . . and victories.

What she teaches us could fill volumes, but I’ll point out one small item here: the hardest part of an epic journey isn’t all the tribulations one faces. It’s not in the monsters that thwart our every move. The most challenging part of any epic journey is in deciding to get up and gamble your life away, in simply showing up and beginning that epic journey. . . .
19 Friday, 11 June 2010 15:43
Omg...are you two idiots(KevinRay&DLawson) serious? I wish I had a child that was brave enough to even dream of making such an attempt! This is the way I grew up, finding dreams and chasing them down. Abby should be commended on her bravery and determination. And her parents? Well, I'd be honored to buy them both a drink and toast their faith, and trust in their kids.
Too many kids in this country are being taught (by their parents....you two?) to "be careful" don't "get hurt". Are you kidding me? I have had stitches and broken bones, and my parents bandaged me up, helped me get back on my motorcycle, or skiis, or surfboard, or whatever, and told me to have a good time. People that are willing to chase dreams and adventures should be encouraged, not bashed. It is thinking like you two (kevinray & DLawson) that makes me sick of whitecollar "blame it on someone else" a**wipes in our country. I had a chance to live in Australia many years ago, and because of people like you two, makes me wish I had gone and stayed there.
Abby...I am so VERY proud of you! If you get a bill for the rescue, let me know. I'd be happy to send what money I can to help you out! I am sure that there are still a few adventurist people out there who would do the same.
18 Friday, 11 June 2010 15:32
Capt. Tommy P.
A great day in Marina Del Rey! May you have a safe voyage home.
17 Friday, 11 June 2010 15:06
Thank God she's alive. Great try Abby you should be very proud of what you have accomplished.
16 Friday, 11 June 2010 15:05
Yay I'm so glad she was found. I've ben following her journey since he started. It was really heart wrenching to find out that her epirbs went off. I had thought the worst for a bit. Ultimately angry at people questioning parental responsibility. I hope people can see with this article that she w not alone. The coast guards around the world had their eye on her and her parents were in constant communication. I think it is sad that we set teenagers loose on the world in a car but we as americans can't see putting one in a boat to go around the world. She is a beautiful girl and I hope that she sees this as a successful attempt and continues on to do great things. Good Job Abby. You did exactly what I would've done. I hope to see you in the great races that will soon be following around the world in my boat.
15 Friday, 11 June 2010 15:01
Captain Harry Moles
This voyage is dangerously close to the boy in the ballon stunt. All money from book/blog /interviewdeals etc. should pay rescue expenses. All sponsors of this trip should also share in the expense of rescue.
14 Friday, 11 June 2010 15:00
This wasn't about a dream of circumnavigation as then it would have been delayed to avoid the usual bad weather this time of year. This was about setting a RECORD - departure based on Abby's age not prudent seamanship.

I applaud her efforts, will, and desire, but am concerned that governments & commercial vessels are left to pick up the pieces of an ill timed (but not ill conceived) venture.
13 Friday, 11 June 2010 14:55
What kind of idiot(s) let a 16 year old sail around the world? They can hardly drive at 16 let alone sail.
I think this is child abuse.
12 Friday, 11 June 2010 14:52
Im glad she is safe but now thats over I expect the parents to pay for every penny it cost to search and to rescue her...I mean they expected people to just jump when they said jump..see thats the rich and elites attitudes..I sent my 16 year old daughter into the ocean alone (stupid) and oh wait things are going wrong SAVE HER NOW!!!! Not a hero just a little girl that has an overinflated ego and parents with to much money. Now its time to spend it paying it back!!
I watched her interviews and to be honest she wasn't any different than all 16 year olds very awkward in her speach and not very articulate really.
11 Friday, 11 June 2010 14:48
Peter Premo
Thank god she was found alive. Not only should the family pay for all expenses but they should get their heads examined. This was an idiotic adventure and very dangerous with totally unrealistic expectations.
10 Friday, 11 June 2010 14:33
Who appointed Kevin and DLawson judges? Solo ocean sailing is part of human heritage and nobody gets to judge those that endeavor in it. The SAR efforts are always ongoing and that is how the crews get experience. Sounds like you guys have never sailed in the open ocean. Fine to voice your opinion but no one has the right to judge.
9 Friday, 11 June 2010 14:31
DLawson....are you serious? This was her dream...something she always wanted to do. Everyone should fight for that in their lifetime. I am sure that her family is fully aware of the crisis that are going on around this world and I would bet that they have done their share of community service. This isn't one of those pampered spoiled brats that gets her nails done, sips martinis, and sits by her pool in hollywood every day. She is out doing something more ambitious and courageous that most people do in their lifetimes. It may be Daddy's money, but I believe that it went to good use. This experience will be one that she will carry for the rest of her life. I am sure that her character has been tried, humbled, and strengthened since this journey began. She probably learned more about herself during the course of this voyage that she will at any one point in her life. She couldn't think like a 16 yr old on this journey. She had to be a full on adult who was able to think quickly, rationally, and responsibly this entire trip. Give her some credit. Now don't you think that was maybe worth spending "Daddy's" money on? When I heard about her journey I was elated for her, a little nervous, but was cheering her on all the same. I for one am glad she is safe...and now she has a great story to tell.
8 Friday, 11 June 2010 14:28
Above all the recriminations and the disparaging remarks about her youth and the supposed "frivolity" of such an endeavor, we ought to look at the courage of the human spirit which is still alive in this intrepid young lady. This is what will cause the human race to survive-not the "big brother" totalitarian society of lemmings that is developing worldwide. Never give up, Abby! Don't be ashamed of having "loved" and "lost"!
7 Friday, 11 June 2010 14:26
Dlawson..your opinion - but not one I share. Sorry you are so angry at the world...are you on the gulf working or sharing your money. It is HER life and money, isn't it? Who are you to tell her or anyone else what to do with their life.
6 Friday, 11 June 2010 14:19
Janet Ellis
I too am glad that Abbey is ok. You can take on any adventure you wish, especially if you are as well prepared as she apparently was. But if something goes wrong, which it did, you should also have the responsibility to pay for the very expensive rescue. Some government (whose??) is spending thousands to rescue one person, money that could/should be spent elsewhere. No one has money to waste these days. I say - parents, pay it back while you are thanking God your daughter is alive.
5 Friday, 11 June 2010 13:58
A little rich, pampered brat. Glad she is alive but enough of the self indulgence.. This was a frivolous and selfish exercise. What a waste of money. There are better ways to circumnavigate the rite of passage. Go work on the Gulf Coast. Help some people. Spend Dad's money on others.
4 Friday, 11 June 2010 13:54
cathy mclean
I am ELATED that Abby has been found "Alive and Well". I've been praying for her and her parents. I think they have done an AWESOME job in raising this amazing young lady. Few young women possess the maturity that this 16 year old has. I know that the Lord God has kept her safe through the prayers of many and have surrounded that sweet girl with his angels. I'm so so happy she is O.K. Praise God!!!
3 Friday, 11 June 2010 13:50
I too agree and could not have said it better myself, with Mart Tayo and Abby's parents. It is disrespectful to criticise her family especially if you do not know them. Many of these types of people most likely do not believe in God or that God will be the one to judge.
I have one child in the Navy and one 13 yo at home; I have my daughter reading Abby's story and try everyday to get the negative out of her surroundings and have her grasp what her ambitions are and go forward. In this day it is very hard to sort through all the "I can't, he said, she said", and just do something and do it well.
It could have ended in a different way but it did not. It shows her life long talent, strength, faith, intelligence and yes luck. Good for you Abby I for one am so very glad you have regained communication and will be just fine!
2 Friday, 11 June 2010 13:05
Mart Tayo
I am happy to know that Abby Sunderland is alive and well. Maybe not many may understand what she is doing. Solo sailing requires one to have a particular type of character, attitude and spirit that make one find joy in being in a small sea vessel, in fitting a boat, in preparing for a voyage, in working with the powers of nature, in knowing one’s location in the middle of nowhere and in reaching plotted destinations completely dependent only on self and God. Of course, these are not common traits, but in fact we should be training our children to have these qualities early. Abby is only 16 years old, counting only the number of years so far lived in this world, but I am sure she possesses the elements of maturity that not many 61-year-olds can claim to have. Facing the sea, particularly alone, requires the ability to make decisions, the guts to force one’s recovery from a mistake, to control one’s emotions, to be patient, to persevere, to exercise respect, to face one’s fears alone, to be humble, to laugh at self and laugh with self in solitude, to be awed and to find joy in little things and in all things away from the madding crowd. If we all train our children to possess these qualities at an early age that this 16-year-old young lady has, we would see less of the noisy, spoiled, disrespectful and unbridled young people we see much nowadays. I wish to congratulate Abby and to encourage her never to lose that spirit that continued to pump energy into her arms as she secured her lines, worked her pumps, steered her boat and did the thousand and one other things that demanded to be done right, in the dead of the night, without sleep for days, as the sea pounded her deck in the middle of a storm. I am 58 years old. If I can rewind time to that year I turned 16 and if I too at that age had a boat longer than 30 feet, I know now that that would have been the perfect year for me too to begin my own training in maturity that Abby Sunderland has. I would have sailed too. I also congratulate the parents. Well done.
1 Friday, 11 June 2010 12:30
kevin ray mcintosh
it's nice to hear she has been found alive. but now her and her parents should fit the bill for her rescue..
fbtwit yt

Great Gear,