A 16-year-old American teenage girl was discovered safe with her damaged yacht on Friday after going missing in the turbulent Indian Ocean seas. The girl, Abby Sunderland, went missing during a brave but controversial attempt to sail solo around the world.
Spotted by an Australian search plane on Friday after she lost the mast on her vessel “Wild Eyes”, Abby was thousands of miles from help and triggered emergency beacons.
“She’s fine, the boat’s afloat and she’s on it,” her father Laurence Sunderland told Australia’s public broadcaster ABC. “It’s huge, fantastic, exciting news.”
Abby’s family has been unable to speak with her but said that rescue coordinators in Australia indicated that the pilot who spotted her reported that the boat was upright but that the rigging may have been harmed by waves.
Both parents are ecstatic that Abby is safe and on her way to being rescued. Laurence Sunderland, Abby’s father, said she would not be resuming her round-the-world attempt after the tribulation.