Round-the-world teen sailor found alive in Indian Ocean

June 11th, 2010 - 5:42 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, June 11 (ANI): The 16-year-old American girl feared lost at sea while attempting a solo sail around the world in a 40-foot boat has been found alive in the Indian Ocean.

Searchers flying over the Indian Ocean spotted the girl’s boat in an upright position in a remote and treacherous section of the ocean off Madagascar and spoke to her by radio.

Abby Sunderland told them that she was inside her disabled boat and doing fine, with a space heater and enough food to last her at least two weeks.

Family spokesman William Bennett, speaking outside the family’s Thousand Oaks, Cal., home, said the mast had broken off the sailboat, “Wild Eyes”.

“The plane arrived on the scene moments ago,” the New York Post quoted her joyful parents as writing on their blog.

“Wild Eyes is upright, but her rigging is down. The weather conditions are abating.

“Radio communication has been made and Abby reports that she is fine!” they stated.

They said a fishing boat from the French island of Reunion was diverted to the scene and would be there in a little more than 24 hours.

“Where they will take her or how long it will take, we don’t know,” they added.

The Airbus 330, carrying an experienced team of spotters, had flown from Perth, Australia, to spot where the intrepid young adventurer had last been heard from.

The drama that captivated the world began when Abby set off two emergency rescue beacons east of Madagascar at around 10 a.m., sparking a massive air-and-sea rescue effort.

Abby’s brother, Zac Sunderland, who at age 17 completed his own round-the-globe solo voyage last year, told KNX radio in Los Angeles, that his sister was probably “banged up” by the rough seas.

“She’s a very accomplished sailor but she’s in the Indian Ocean right now and it’s a really dangerous place,” he added. (ANI)

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