Sunday, June 13, 2010

Abby Sunderland – Dismasted, trips epirb, 16 year old is “o.k.” waiting for Rescue, yacht afloat


An entire generation of dreamers and future adventurers have been watching little Abby Sunderland in her quest to be the youngest girl to sail around the world.  It does not look like Abbey is going to make it. 


Abbey trips two EPIRB’s, not reachable.  A parent’s nightmare!


Abby reported high winds and rough weather shortly before.


One of the EPIRBS was from the one associated with her life raft. 


Concerns are, Abby may have had to ditch her Open 40 sailboat Wild Eyes


Abby Sunderland


Reports are coming in that 16 year old Abby Sunderland has tripped two EPIRB's.


2015hrs GMT June 10, 2010-“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has told Yacht Pals that the Wild Eyes EPIRB and Abby's personal locater beacon were tripped approximately 2,000 nautical miles WSW of Perth, and that the ‘weather is very poor’”


2027hrs GMT June 10 - Abby Sunderland's parents Laurence and Marianne Sunderland said they spoke with their daughter.  She had been knocked down several times with 60 knot winds and seas of 20 to 25 feet…that is 25 feet up and 25 feet down…


“Abby has all of the equipment on board to survive a crisis situation…She has a dry suit, survival suit, life raft, and ditch bag with emergency supplies. If she can keep warm and hang on, help will be there as soon as possible.”


2153hrs GMT June 10 - Qantas Airlines tells Yacht Pals it will send an Airbus A330 to the location of the EPIRB, in an effort to attain visual confirmation of Abby Sunderland's location and/or establish radio contact. 


0640hrs GMT June 11 - Abby Sunderland is alive!  Her boat is upright!


0654hrs GMT June 11 - Abby Sunderland's parents say, "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!”

Abby Sunderland boat dismasted

Photo Above: Abby Sunderland's boat Wild Eyes dismasted in the Southern Indian Ocean.


1850hrs GMT June 11 - Abby Sunderland's team:


'Abby Sunderland was in great spirits after being spotted' say rescue members. Search and rescue crew members have described how stricken 16-year-old yachtswoman Abby Sunderland remained “in good spirits” after being spotted from the air yesterday.”


June 12 - "In preparation for the arrival on scene of the fishing vessel Ile De La Reunion anticipated for late this afternoon, RCC Australia has tasked a Global Express aircraft to the scene. This aircraft is planned to arrive at the known position of Wild Eyes at approximately 4.30pm AEST.

The aircraft will attempt to regain radio contact with Wild Eyes ahead of the planned rescue. The position of Wild Eyes continues to be monitored via distress beacon transmission. Weather in the area has improved slightly with 30-35 knot winds and a 4-5 metre swell."


June 12 -  Marianne and Laurence Sunderland:

"Abby was safely transferred to the French fishing vessel Ile de la Reunion in the early hours of our morning.

Fortunately, the weather had calmed down enough that a dinghy was able to be dispatched for Abby to climb into and to bring her close to the 100' steel vessel.

We were able to speak to Abby very briefly once the transfer was complete. She sounded tired but good. She had a good sense of humor but was clearly in the early stages of coming to grips with everything.


June 12 - Statement from Abby Sunderland: "Sorry I haven't written in so long as you probably already know I had a pretty rough couple of days. I can't write much now as I am typing on a French key pad as well as trying to stay seated in a bouncy fishing boat.


The long and the short of it is, well, one long wave, and one short mast (short meaning two inch stub.)


Crazy is the word that really describes everything that has happened best.


Within a few minutes of being on board the fishing boat, I was already getting calls from the press. I don't know how they got the number but it seems everybody is eager to pounce on my story now that something bad has happened.


There are plenty of things people can think of to blame for my situation; my age, the time of year and many more. The truth is, I was in a storm and you don't sail through the Indian Ocean without getting in at least one storm. It wasn't the time of year it was just a Southern Ocean storm. Storms are part of the deal when you set out to sail around the world.


As for age, since when does age create gigantic waves and storms?


I keep hitting the wrong keys and am still trying to get over the fact that I will never see my Wild Eyes again. So Ill write more later.



Wild Eyes II will be even better, Abby!  Stick with it, kid.  A lot of young dreams are riding on you, and you have brought them true for many!


The information for this article was taken from the Yacht pals site.