Keep your fingers crossed for Abby Sunderland (16 y.o. lost on round-the-world sail attempt)

I suspect that because it was a legitimate search and rescue the Australian taxpayer will foot the bill. Personally I don’t have a problem with that. It is worth picking up the bill for SARs of this nature to avoid getting into a situation where people are afraid to turn their beacon on because they can’t afford a big bill. Charge those who turn their beacons on maliciously or whose beacons are activated due to negligence but don’t charge those who use the beacons for a good reason.

AMSA has a budget for this sort of thing, chances are some of the cost would’ve been spent on training costs anyway.

I doubt it. There are too many of them doing it - there’s not much money to made out of being yet another 16-year-old sailor.

I’m glad she’s safe, and hope she takes a break for a bit. Seems daft to carry on in the southern winter when she can’t get the record any more.

Just want to say that Wikipedia’s entry for young Ms. Sunderland has this:

I think that’s pretty cool.

When I do this, I’m taking the effin’ Panama AND Suez canals. Fuck the “Roaring Forties”…

But then you have to be on the lookout for pirates.

Hahaha - it is, but I suspect (without a shred of evidence) that Ms. Sunderland added that bit herself.

Probably not. Pirates want big container ships, with loads of valuable cargo. Small sailing vessels aren’t particularly desirable prizes.

Her mom has already been quoted saying the adventure was over.

I didn’t know this until this morning, but it’s her brother who holds the record for youngest to circumnavigate the world.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if they did get some kind of insurance policy in case of disaster and needing rescue.

Not according to this handy dandy chart.

What’s the problem? She’s over twice the age of the youngest pilot to attempt to cross America. So she should have been completely preparred for this.

I’m afraid mistaken. Due to the drug trade, there are a lot of bandits on the waters near Colon who are more than happy to mug everyone aboard a small vessel. A buddy of mine and I kind of looked into this when we heard about the Panama Canal Ocean to Ocean Regatta and wanted to plan an epic paddling trip.

Apparently it’s not as bad as it used to be, and in the normal range that a tiny craft like our kayaks would have been it would have been fine, but smaller vessels heading way, way out to sea run the risk of crossing paths with some unsavory characters.


Huh. Maybe I mis-read and she was aiming for youngest American of the new report I saw got it wrong.

ETA#2: Oh, I did mis-read. It said he “briefly” held the title.

What’s the use of training if you don’t get to practice it in an actual situation? There’s always the potential in a real SAR mission to provide data and insight that’s missing in training.

Whenever there is a large SAR effort up here, there are people who say that the costs should be paid by the rescued; especially when the party is seen to have been reckless. Or there are calls to ban an activity. For example, mountain climbing is popular in these parts. Whenever someone gets lost there are calls to forbid mountain climbing at such-and-such a place in Winter. Some people say, ‘They knew the risks. That’s what they get for being smart.’ But it’s better to spend the money to rescue some ‘adventurer’ and have the SAR capability for the greater number of ‘legitimate’ rescues, than it is to not have the capability. In the case of gross negligence, I think it’s fair that the person pay the costs. If I forget to close a flight plan and a search is initiated, I may be held liable. But there’s a difference between gross negligence and an ill-advised adventure.

The taxpayer may balk at paying the costs to find and rescue a person who makes an ill-advised adventure; but they overlook the overwhelming number of more mundane rescues. If I crash in the mountains or am adrift on the sea or find myself in another situation where I need to be rescued, I’ll be glad that SAR teams are out there doing their jobs.

If I may, I’d like to give a shout out to the Civil Air Patrol. Remember: They need ground teams too!

Only she didn’t make it. (As you say, ‘to attempt to cross…’)

I believe the youngest pilot to cross the U.S. was Christopher Lee Marshall. Vicki van Meter was a year older when she became the youngest person to pilot a plane in the other direction, and the youngest female to do it in either direction.

Sixteen-year-old girls are, though. That’s another reason I’m shocked at the parents who were OK with this.

It’s funny, but in the recent “baloon boy” incident the father’s only crime seems to be that the boy WAS NOT in the baloon.

Yeah, you gotta watch out for the Pedophile Pirates of Penzance!

Now that she’s safe, can we talk about the poor judgement shown by her parents in the quest for fame?

There is also the potential in a real SAR mission for the rescuers to become injured or killed. I don’t think that the ability to “practice” in real situations is enough of a benefit.

I do not agree that people overlook the “mundane” rescues. This is what the SAR teams are for. This is why nobody ever says “lets get rid of the SAR teams”. What most people are saying is

I don’t have any problems with the girl pursing a dream. Think of all the negative stuff she could be doing. Drugs, booze, gangs, getting pregnant are just a few. I see what she’s doing as the same as sports. Sure there’s a potential to get hurt. There’s a lot to learn too. Self-reliance, confidence, leadership. There’s no telling what life has in store for this girl.

When I was 17 dad let me go on an 800-mile trip taking a couch and a refrigerator to his parents’ place. That’s not a great adventure, and certainly not comparable to a solo sail around the world; but I know that many parents would not let a kid undertake even that small journey. A 16-year-old can legally solo an airplane, and a 17-year-old can get a license. Should a parent let a (licensed) kid fly across the country? It depends on the kid.

If I had a 16-year-old daughter, I would not let her sail around the world alone. At least, I wouldn’t unless I was following just over the horizon in a larger boat with a crew to rescue her if need be. Since I don’t know anything about Miss Sunderland, I have no idea of her capabilities. She might be a better sailor and a more responsible person than someone three times her age. In my mind a long journey is nothing more than a succession of small journeys. I was capable of a small journey when I was 17.

I’m generally against such publicity stunts as this; but I don’t think there’s anything intrinsically wrong with a young person having an adventure – as long as that person possesses the necessary skills and temperament to do it. Would I worry? You bet your sweet ass, I would! (And I’d be so protective as to follow at a discreet distance.) But if she wanted to do it and I were confident in her abilities, then I don’t see anything wrong with it.