It is the best day ever for Abby Sunderland and her parents. The 16-year-old, who was attempting to become the youngest person to sail on a solo mission around the world, went missing on Thursday and lost contact with her parents during a storm in the Indian Ocean. Her emergency beacon locater devices had been set off and waves were reaching 60 ft.
Luckily, an aerial search team spotted her yacht and three ships are currently on their way to her rescue.
Sunderland’s family had lost contact with her for some 20 hours and while things worked out fine, it could have easily ended in tragedy. Many have questioned whether it was irresponsible for her parents to let her go.
Her parents went on the Today Show this morning and answered the criticism that they should not have allowed their daughter to take on such a dangerous task and explained how they feel about their decision having seen the outcome. “You face hard knocks out there and sometimes people need to be rescued. She’s proven herself on more than one occasion,” said her father Laurence Sunderland. “It’s not to do with her ability. The boat was demasted because of a condition. She’s proven she’s more than capable of dealing with this. I think this is more of a testimony to her will to survive and deal with the situation than a travesty that she went out there at all. I’m still excited for Abigail.”
So will they be allowing her to attempt this feat a second time?
“We’ve got our Abigail back and the quest will be over,” Laurence said. “Knowing that she’s alive and well means so much more to me than any sailing record. It’s just a huge, huge relief.” Abby’s mother, Marianne, repeated the sentiment.