Thursday, June 10, 2010

Abby Sunderland in some trouble

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Abby Sunderland, the very brave 16 year old California girl who was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo in her sailboat, Wild Eyes, has got into some trouble. Her present location was 2000 miles east of Reunion Island, Indian Ocean, when at 5 am Thursday California time her family lost satellite phone contact with her and an hour later she manually activated 2 emergency satellite alarm systems, one of which is on her boat and the other on her, either in a life raft or on her.

From her last contact, she was battling very harsh conditions, 30foot waves and 60 knot winds. At this time of year in the Southern Ocean, you can even expect 100 knot winds. It is not known if she was washed overboard, whether her boat has turned turtle or whether she is in a life raft.

Qantas of Australia has agreed to fly an aircraft over the location and several boats nearby have been diverted to her location but it will take 40 to 48 hours for the nearest boats to get to her. The sea water temperature is between 50 to 55 Fahrenheit, not warm but warm enough to keep her alive.

You could go to and as well as all news agencies who are keeping up this story.

My bet is that she is fine. A very brave girl indeed.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914


Anonymous said...

June 11, 2010 1:56PM Australian Eastern Standard Time (with AAP)

A QANTAS A330 airbus is heading toward two emergency beacon signals in the Indian Ocean as fears grow for the safety of an American teenager attempting to sail solo around the world.

As conditions deteriorate around the emergency zone 2000 nautical miles west south west of Perth, 11 West Australian State Emergency Service officers trained in aerial spotting, along with officers from the state's Water Police and the Fire and Emergency Services Authority, are searching for what they believe may be the overturned yacht of 16-year-old Abby Sunderland.

Sunderland was past the halfway mark of her journey when she hit trouble yesterday morning, activating two manual distress beacons.

Her father, Laurence Sunderland, told ABC radio that he thought the boat may have lost its keel.

“I think what's happened due to drift factor is, I think the keel has been knocked off probably by a submerged object . . . the boat's upside down and she's inside in a cocoon waiting for a rescue.”

“She's got a dry suit and a survival kit which she will hopefully put on and she'll be able to have everything from hand held water makers, everything that you would need to survive in this hostile environment she's got. She's got a life raft added escape hatch to the door. She knows to stay with the vessel until she needs to step up into her life raft.

“I've got to trust in the Lord and I'm confident that the Lord's work will be done and Abigail's strength of character will see her through this ordeal.”

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra is co-ordinating the search. Spokesman Carly Lusk said conditions in the area were “extremely poor”.

“We're experiencing in that area 90km/h winds, so it's quite dangerous.”

Sunderland spoke to her parents in the United States just an hour before the distress beacons were activated, telling them she'd been knocked down several times due to the weather.

Mr Sunderland initially thought his daughter's automatic beacon had set off accidentally due to the high winds, but soon discovered she had set off her hand-held emergency beeper.

Mr Sunderland now believes his daughter's boat is upside down in the water.

Asked if he believed she would be able to handle the situation calmly, Mr Sunderland said he hoped so.

“However, we all have breaking points and she's had a couple of boisterous days out there,” he said.

“It's going to take a bit of a miracle.”

If all goes to plan, the aircraft will hopefully make visual and radio contact with the stricken vessel sometime in the next few hours. The round trip could take up to 14 hours.

JT said...

It is a good thing that Abby is close enough for Australian Search and Rescue to reach her.

Unlike Singaporeans who will probably think Abbey is crazy to do this solo trip on hindsight, Aussies will understand and support the kind of courage that goes into this adventure. (We are not afraid of problems, we just find solutions if problems hit.)

Remember too, that Jessica Watson, Abby's friend, has returned from her solo sail round the world to a heroine welcome in Australia less than 2 months ago.

I am confident that Abbey will be alright. Like the 40 foot waves and rough sea, this is part of an adventure she has prepare for, and I am proud that she has done the right thing activating her distress advice and personal locator when it is needed. It shows maturity in her decision making and not reckless pursue of dreams.

QANTAS - Good luck to finding her.

Anonymous said...

wonder why singapore took no part in the rescue being closer than australia to her location?