Sailor Abby Sunderland is alive and seems unharmed
Global sailor Abby Sunderland has been found, alive and apparently unharmed, sighted by a crew of spotters aboard a Qantas Airways jetliner, who also made radio contact with Sunderland.
Her 40-foot sailboat, Wild Eyes, is upright, but the mast had been knocked off by rough seas. She was in good health and had plenty of food and was waiting for the arrival of a fishing boat in about a day, said Jeff Casher, a technical advisor for the voyage.
Here's the latest dispatch from Abby's parents, Laurence and Marianne Sunderland, which they posted on their daughters blog at 11:27 p.m. Thursday:
We have just heard from the Australian Search and Rescue. The plane arrived on the scene moments ago. Wild Eyes is upright but her rigging is down. The weather conditions are abating. Radio communication was made and Abby reports that she is fine!
We don't know much else right now. The French fishing vessel that was diverted to her location will be there in a little over 24 hours. Where they will take her or how long it will take we don't know.
More updates as news comes in.
Laurence & Marianne
A rescue effort went out for the Thousand Oaks teen early Thursday morning, after she manually activated one emergency-beacon locating device on her survival suit or life vest and another on her sailboat from the southern Indian Ocean.
Sunderland, 16, was just past the halfway point of her attempt to become the youngest person to solo circumnavigate the globe.
Three French vessels heading to the area from the territory of Reunion, off the African coast, are still hundreds of miles away. Australian and American search-and-rescue authorities are cooperating in the rescue attempt.
More details on Sunderland can be found in Times staff writer's Catherine Saillant article, linked here.
Outposts has been following Abby's journey since she left Marina del Rey in January, and will keep readers updated as news is available. Needless to say, I'm relieved to hear that she survived this incident.
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Abby Sunderland, 16, looks out from her sailboat, Wild Eyes, as she leaves Marina del Rey for her solo around-the-world sailing attempt. Credit: Richard Hartog / Associated Press
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