Abby Sunderland Circling Globe Lost At Sea

Abby Sunderland Circling Globe Lost At Sea

Cape Town : South Africa | Jun 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM PDT
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Abby Sunderland shows us around her new Open 40

The 16-year-old who is attempting to become the youngest sailor to ever circumnavigate the globe was reportedly lost at sea today after her crew lost contact with her.

Engineers on Abby Sunderland's sailing team told ABC News that two emergency beacons on her boat signalled that she is in trouble.

Abby's mother, MaryAnne Sunderland, said her daughter manually activated the beacons around 9 a.m.

Her parents also lost satellite phone contact with her, according to a report on

"Everything seemed to be under control," said Abby's father Laurence Sunderland. "But then our call dropped and a hour later the Coast Guard called."

The teen adventurer was battling 25-foot waves at the time of last contact as 35-knot winds rocked her vessel, said MaryAnne Sunderland.

Her boat was last charted near Reunion Island, east of Madagascar off the African coast, this morning.

Sunderland's goal at the start of her amazing journey -- to become the youngest sailor to ever pull off a solo nonstop circumnavigation -- ended in April when she was forced to stop in South Africa because her autopilot failed.

As a result, the teen is still trying to become the youngest person to perform a solo circumnavigation.

In her last entry Wednesday, she wrote that she'd passed through "some rough weather... with winds steady at 50-45 knots with higher gusts," according to ABC News.

"It was a nice day today with some lighter winds which gave me a chance to patch everything up," she wrote. "'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."

The weather was getting rough again, she added.

"The wind is beginning to pick up," she wrote. "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 brother Zac, who graduated from high school, completed a solo-circumnavigation last year at age 17.

The timing of Abby's trip was criticized by some because it was placing her in the middle of the Indian Ocean when the stormy Southern Hemisphere winter was at hand.

Australian Jesse Martin holds the current record for the youngest person to sail around the world solo -- nonstop and unassisted -- after he completed the journey in 1999 at the age of 18.

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Teen Sailor Lost At Sea
Abby Sunderland
Pijush Mitra is based in Kolkata, Bangla, India, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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