My father lofted tuna boats years ago….he said the design of the boat Abby was on for her trip to sail around the world was “borderline criminal”. He said it was just ignorant to put her in a vessel that was doomed to the waves in the sea she was sailing. He is coming over today, I’ll find out more about this design flaw and why.
Parents: Teen sailor healthy after 3 days adrift
Weary but healthy despite bumps and bruises, teen sailor Abby Sunderland was cheerful in a phone call home after being rescued Saturday from her crippled boat in the southern Indian Ocean, her parents said.
“She sounded tired, a little bit small in her voice, but she was able to make jokes and she was looking forward to getting some sleep,” her mother, Marianne Sunderland, told reporters outside the family home in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
The 16-year-old had to abandon her sailboat, Wild Eyes, when a French fishing vessel rescued her more than 2,000 miles from the western Australia coast, two days after she lost communication with her family and sent out distress signals. She will spend more than a week traveling to Reunion Island, a French territory east of Madagascar.
“Crazy is the word that really describes everything that has happened best,” Abby Sunderland wrote Saturday morning in a blog post from “a great big fishing boat headed I am not exactly sure where.”
“The long and the short of it is, well, one long wave, and one short mast,” she wrote.
Sunderland had been stranded in heavy seas since Thursday, when she set off a distress signal after the mast collapsed. Laurence Sunderland said the family was not going to elaborate on the problems that led to the emergency, and Abby Sunderland didn’t provide details in her blog post.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the French ship Ile De La Reunion brought Sunderland on board from her stricken craft Saturday afternoon at the site (about 2:45 a.m. PDT).
French authorities called it a “delicate operation,” and said at one point the fishing boat’s captain fell into the ocean and had to be rescued. Laurence Sunderland said the crew used its dinghy in the transfer.
Australian authorities were broadcasting a message to boats crossing through the area warning them that Sunderland’s sailboat is still adrift.
Sunderland will leave the French fishing boat in about two days to board a maritime patrol boat that will take her to Reunion Island, according to a statement from the office of the French Indian Ocean island’s top official. The transfer will take place off the Kerguelen Islands, with the exact timing depending on weather and ocean conditions.
Authorities said Sunderland likely would not arrive in Reunion for at least a week.
Despite a lag in getting to see her, Laurence Sunderland said the family is “just ecstatic that she is alive and well and survived the ordeal.”