Abigail Sunderland, a sixteen-year-old American girl who set out in January 2010 to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, was missing at sea after a violent storm dismasted her boat on June 10.
Sunderland sent out two manual search beacons that triggered search and rescue efforts. Patrol crafts have been dispatched, and authorities expect to rescue the girl sometime in the next 24 hours. Radio contact with Sunderland was made, and she confirmed she was not injured.
Abby Sunderland has been training for this journey since she was just 13, and trained with experienced sailors, such as her father, Laurence Sunderland. She undertook the task to navigate solo after her older brother earned the honor just before he turned 18.
Sunderland’s parents have not been in contact with her yet, but her father did tell the press that despite her enthusiasm, this will probably be the end of her journey.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I would let my own daughter embark on a trip like that alone, no matter how much experience she gained before leaving. Even if she was twenty, or thirty, I’d have a hard time letting her go, but then I have serious ocean fear anyway.
What do you think? Should Sunderland have been allowed to take this risk at her age?