Abby Sunderland update: Emergency rescue underway

UPDATE: == More from today’s Daily News (linked here)

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Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer

The wind is beginning to pick up. It is back up to 20 knots and I am expecting that by midnight tonight I could have 35-50 knots with gusts to 60 so I am off to sleep before it really picks up.

== The last paragraph of the most recent blog post from Abby Sunderland, Wednesday night (linked here).

A rescue effort has been launched in hope of finding Abby Sunderland, the 16-year-old Thousand Oaks resident attempting to sail around the world alone but set off her emergency beacon locating devices from the southern Indian Ocean early this morning.

Sunderland reportedly faced multiple knockdowns in 60-knot winds Wednesday (today local time) before conditions briefly abated.

Her parents lost satellite phone contact early this morning and an hour later were notified by the Coast Guard at French-controlled Reunion Islands that both of Sunderland’s EPIRB satellite devices had been activated. One apparently is attached to a survival suit and meant to be used when a person is in the water or a life raft.

“Everything seemed to be under control,” Laurence Sunderland said on Pete Thomas Outdoors.com (linked here). “But then our call dropped and a hour later the Coast Guard called.”

Abby was for several months one of two 16-year-olds attempting to sail around the world alone. Australia’s Jessica Watson completed her journey last month, just days before turning 17.

Abby’s brother Zac did a solo-circumnavigation last summer at age 17.

Photo: GizaraArts.com (linked here):

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== The complete post of Abby’s most recent blog on Wednesday night (linked here):

The last few days have pretty busy out here. I’ve been in some rough weather for awhile with winds steady at 40-45 knots with higher gusts. With that front passing, the conditions were lighter today. It was a nice day today with some lighter winds which gave me a chance to patch everything up. Wild Eyes was great through everything but after a day with over 50 knots at times, I had quite a bit of work to do.

For most of the day today I had about 20 knots. I had been hoping to get some lighter winds so I could patch up one of my sails. It was still a bit windy out but with more rough weather tomorrow I wasn’t sure when my next chance to fix it would be. I managed to take it down, take care of the tear and get it back up in a couple of hours. It wasn’t the most fun job I have done out here. With the seas still huge, Wild Eyes was rolling around like crazy. Of course not even half and hour after I got the sail back up the wind dropped from 20 to 10 knots!

My Thrane & Thrane (Internet) system is down again so I am not able to send in my blog. The problem seems a bit more serious than the last few times I have had trouble with it. There is something wrong with the terminal at the back. It is possible that water got inside of it because it has a rough ride back there the past few days with waves crashing right over it. Unfortunately, if that is the problem I probably won’t be able to fix it. At least I still have my Iridium phones so I can still call in to my mom and read her my bog for her to post.

The wind is beginning to pick up. It is back up to 20 knots and I am expecting that by midnight tonight I could have 35-50 knots with gusts to 60 so I am off to sleep before it really picks up.

== Abby’s website: http://www.abbysunderland.com/

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  • skooly

    How does Abby intend to pay for the expenses of her rescue? She better not be expecting the public to pick up the cost for her publicity-seeking risky behavior.

    We have to stop treating people like celebrities when they rob the public of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of dollars to bail them out when they face danger in their glory-seeking adventures. I will only applaud an individual who can actually fund their own rescue when taking on risky endeavors.