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Abby Sunderland vessel photo and flyover update

The latest update posted on Abby Sunderland's blog is from the search-and-rescue crew, which spotted the young sailor's boat Wild Eyes in the Indian Ocean and briefly spoke with her.

They state that Sunderland, 16, remained "in good spirits" after being spotted from the air.

A crew of 11 trained observers that were on the Qantas Airways "spotter" airbus returned to Perth after successfully locating the troubled vessel in the Indian Ocean.

Taskforce leader Will Blackshaw said there was a very brief period of contact with the Thousand Oaks teenager, but said she remained positive despite the setback.

"Abby is in very good spirits. She's obviously keen to have some assistance, but she is in very good spirits," said Blackshaw.

When the crew did make that radio contact with Sunderland, her first words to them were, "This is Abby."

"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 continued. "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."

"It was a very happy moment for all of the people on board the plane," added Blackshaw. "However, it was a very serious moment as well, and we were all concentrating on the job at task which was to make contact with Abby."

Blackshaw said they instructed Sunderland to activate two further EPIRB devices, to ensure a continuous signal for rescue crews to spot her.

Mike Wear, who was also aboard the aircraft, said Abby sounded "very upbeat and very strong" during the brief contact.

"It was just a very small dot on the ocean. She was on the back deck [and] she was very hard to see," said Wear.

Qantas refused to comment on how much the trip had cost the company or whether they would seek reimbursement for the flight.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Abby Sunderland's 40-foot sailboat, Wild Eyes, in the Southern Indian Ocean. Credit: Australia Search & Rescue


Sailor Abby Sunderland is alive and seems unharmed

Teenage sailor Abby Sunderland's parents comment on the rescue effort for their daughter

Rescue effort underway for teenage sailor Abby Sunderland

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Comments (22)

i was shocked that a teen did that go bay her shilf at sea but im happy that she stayed a live and im happy that her friend are happy to. I munt do it to but im gong with a friends.

Yea whatever CaptKC.
Can you say: Pretentious?

It is, abuse. It's their decision re: her age, but I don't have any choice? to pay for their (valueless)adventures? Give them the freedom to pursue their happiness, but don't hand me a bill.

As A West Aussie we have seen many lone sailors come to grief over the years. Its no biggie..we do what we would expect other countries to do when someone needs help.
Money is not an issue.
Abby is very lucky the Australians are the best in the world at sea search and rescue.
I salute Abby for her courage and her skills.She is in trouble not because she is 16 but because she ran into one mother of a storm.
Well done to Qantas and the sea search guys..another life saved.

We are right there with you in spirit Abby - good job! Sorry about the lousy weather.

Who is going to pay for all the rescue attempts for this girl. I hope the parents with her being uder age

I find all this glow about dreams to be sickly sweet. I wonder what limits there are to common sense. The comparisons to early day explorers really cheapens their memories. Their goals were larger than life. They worked as a team. In this endeavor there is only a personal claim, not that it was done but in how old she will be when it is completed. Magellan never considered this. And for all the follies there is one that is the most damaging. Why sail through the winter storm? And the answer is because she would be 17 instead of 16. Delay was too costly. Do I have to ask if we cheer a 15 year old next year? Will his dreams be more grand because he is younger?

and by the way who the heck are you to say she had no business out there..i have followed her journey from day one...she has a lot of guts and determination...best of luck you you abby godspeed

I do not believe Abby or her parents broke any laws in this attempt to circumnavigate the world by sail boat. From information perused she appears to be an experienced and competent sailor and there is no way to gain experience in handling winter seas solo but by doing it. Of course more seasoning would have further developed her skills, but there is no way to know if it would have changed anything in what transpired.

I personally applaud those who establish difficult goals and stretch to achieve them. I do not believe this was a foolish venture and Abby and her parents have a right to be proud of her attempt.

you people are something else...this lady had a dream to sail around the world and she tries..to sit here and blah blah blah about who should pay for it...get real...any vessel on the water thats in trouble should be helped...and trust me taxpayers pay for more piddly things..this is not a piddly thing we are talking about a human life that needs help...

Abbey, don't give up. The spirit which you posess is what all these nay sayers are jealous of. Your parents are courageous people in their support of your quest, and you have some real intestinal fortitude lady. Everyone should be extremely proud of your efforts, those who are not just don't understand, so do not worry or listen to them, be true to yourself.

Are all of you people insane. We are paying for a billion illegal aliens to use our health care, bankrupt our county, have a six kids at a cost of who even knows. We take care of drug addicts, pay for ridculous cost of incarcerating child molesters for life instead of giving the the death penalty. All of this and you even dare to question the tenacity, bravery, and determination of a 16 year old to try and accomplish something amazing? You even dare to question the confidence her parents have in the child that they obviously raised to be an achiever in a society of under achievers. I say shame on all of you. Great example, Abby, of what is means to be a real American. To your parents: Wonderful job on both your kids.

Abby Rocks! Thank you Quantas / Australia for saving a brave US sailor. She's atempted what most of us would never have the courage to try. For the rest of her life shell draw strength from chasing her dream .. Larchmont Yach Club is with you Abby!

It am always astonished by the crassness of the US media. In the middle of a crisis all these people can think about is how much the rescue will cost and who will pay fo it. Almost every nation with ocean frontage maintains nautical air and sea rescue. Obviously, these program cost money to maintain but their principal purpose is rescue not to make money. The people operating these programs don't operate with a purely capitalistic agenda like most everything American these days: Find out of the affected people can pay...that's the priority much of the time. There will be plenty of time to discuss cost/payment AFTER the girl is safe. Until then, let it and focus on the human interest angle of the story.

I don't know what the big deal is.

It's easy to find an Arby's here:


There's one a few miles from my home...on land even.

I remember when the media would write the news even if it wasn't thier editorial, when they were honorable, good luck.

Remember the three P's. P1$$ Poor Planning ....... Wrong ocean, wrong time of year ...... The Great Southern Ocean in the middle of winter ....PPP! Experienced adventures calculate risk, inexperienced adventures risk lives.

So I guess the next time a teen is involved in a drunk driving accident and severely injured we should leave them for dead? I think not!!!

Wow. Abby brings back the adventure that this country was founded on! We need more Abby's in the world today.....

The question of payment for the rescue is a valid one. I'd like to know too. There is no valid reason for anyone to be sailing in those latitudes at this time of year, NONE.

I doubt Abby's shoe sponsor will be eager to pony up the estimated $10,000 an hour cost of one Airbus.

Sailing gimmicks in quest for "glory" and $$$ are a blatant abuse of international Search And Rescue (SAR) system. It is unfair gamble with taxpayers of the participating countries. Abby (or whoever else) succeeds they get all the profits of having their faces pasted on every cereal box and covers of teen magazines. Abby fails - costs of SAR are picked by some taxpayers. Australia is screwed, by having the largest SAR area on Southern Ocean. I have great respect for AMSA and the service of Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) in Canberra, as I had once opportunity to observe their actions first hand. Sailors of other nations should not abuse them. Those people may have to risk their own lives to save a teen with limited self-preservation instinct (typical for age). The fame and $$$ seeking parents should pay every single penny to Australian Government.

I am shocked..no...ashamed you would actually ask who's paying for the rescue!


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About the Bloggers
Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.