Where is Abby Sunderland? Five months ago, this precocious young girl of 16 left her home port in Southern California to attempt a nonstop solo circumnavigation and beat all records. Now she is lost at sea.
Reports have surfaced that the last contact with Abby occurred yesterday about an hour after her communication with her family. Her position was deep in the frigid and rolling southern Indian Ocean and about 2,000 miles from land. There are fears that she is in trouble.
The emergency beacons on Abby’s custom built boat “Wild Eyes” activated and communication with her was lost. In response the Australian Maritime Safety Authority immediately implemented an air sea rescue plan. Three vessels were sent from a French island off Madagascar and a plane was readied to depart from Perth. The flight would take 4 hours to arrive at Abby’s location. Global news media also took up the story and began coverage.
For those who have followed the progress of Abby’s trip know the hardships that she has already faced starting with the need to abandon her goal of not stopping until she arrived home. Confronted with equipment failure she had to go to port in Mexico for repair. Undaunted, she continued on her journey through the treacherous and dangerous seas at the tip of South America. She cruised through the Atlantic and sailed into the difficult and heaving seas of the Indian Ocean. Far from shore, the rescue teams will try to find her tiny vessel in the vast and empty ocean.
Now Abby hopefully is alive. Her spirit and will are now tested by the isolation that she surely must feel. Usually when the emergency beacons are activated, it is an indication that something serious and life threatening has occurred. It will now be up to the ability of the Australian rescue teams to try to get to Abby before the worst happens.
May God watch over her and bring her home safely.