Abby Sunderland - Search and Rescue - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-10-2010
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Abby Sunderland - Search and Rescue

All news radio station in Los Angeles reports:

"Major search and rescue effort underway in Indian Ocean for SoCal teen Abby Sunderland. Storm in the area. Emergency beacon activated."
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Old 06-10-2010
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From my facebook

Teen sailor Abby Sunderland focus of emergency rescue effort

A rescue effort has been launched in hope of finding Abby Sunderland, 16, who set off her emergency beacon locating devices from the southern Indian Ocean early this morning.

Sunderland, who had been attempting to sail around the world alone, endured multiple knockdowns in 60-knot winds yesterday (Thursday local time) before conditions briefly abated.

However, 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.

Abby's father struggled with emotions and said he didn't know if his daughter was in a life raft or aboard the boat, or whether the boat was upside down.

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

Abby is hundreds of miles from land. The rescue effort is being coordinated by the Reunion Islands and Australia. Sunderland had been sailing in 50- to 60-foot seas and it was dark when the EPIRB devices were activated.

The Sunderlands are asking people to pray for their daughter, a high-school junior from Thousand Oaks, Calif.

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, who graduated from high school, completed a solo-circumnavigation last summer at 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.

-- Pete Thomas

Editor's note: This item also appears on the GrindTv.com Outdoors blog
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Old 06-10-2010
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Her web site:
http://www.abbysunderland.com/
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Old 06-10-2010
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Damn.
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Old 06-10-2010
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Man this sucks. It's the exact thing we've all been dreading.

God be with her and her family.
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Old 06-10-2010
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Man, this doesn't look good.
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Old 06-10-2010
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Wow, sad - very sad

I sincerely hope that this turns out OK and that she is found safe. I also hope that no harm comes to anyone involved in her rescue.

I went out on a limb in the Jessica Watson thread by saying that this "youngest sailor" contest should be discouraged. While I admire her ability, I do not respect her actions. Her brother Zac did it at 17, therefore she had to try it at 16. Soon there will be 10 year olds giving it a shot.

The involvement of sponsors, IMHO, makes this exploitation. In skimming the Jessica Watson thread I believe that I neglected to point out the mortal risk that this activity entails. All for the purpose of what; selling shoes at Shoe City?
- Unbelievable.

Hopefully after she is home, safe and sound, people will stop promoting this nonsense.

Also, (and I did say this in the other thread) I hope that sponsors realize that I will not buy their products because of their sponsorship of these attempts, but despite it.

Here's hoping to an uneventful and successful rescue.
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Old 06-10-2010
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Hope she's okay and that her rescue is quick and safe.
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Old 06-10-2010
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God be with her!!

I have been following her track. Let's pray she is riding this out in a raft, with helicopters approaching her beacon!
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Old 06-10-2010
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This from SMSScott who is on Abby's team and help do repairs during both of her stops:

Between about 3:00 pm PDT and 5:00 pm PDT we had many very short broken calls from iridium phone from inside boat.

Abby had been Knocked Down several times in 60 Kts winds earlier in the day. Last Knock Down stripped radar from gimbaled mount on mast. There was slight amount of water in boat. No other damage was noted running backs were intact. A full damage survey had not been done yet outside.

She felt she was in good shape after these incidents. The main reason for the call was engine would not start. We got engine started and it was working OK. B&G wind instruments atop mast were still in working order she had 35 Kts wind and was sailing. Basically she felt all was OK.

Iridium dropped another call and we expected a quick call back as she had been doing for several hours. 30 minutes to 1 hour passed with no contact.

Then USCG called with first EPIRB deployment this was a manual EPIRB from inside cabin. Short time later Personal EPIRB was also activated. There is also a Class 1 automatic deployment EPIRB in cockpit that has not activated.

Just about the time of EPIRB activation it would have been getting dark.
She does have a life raft and survival suite.
Her last water temperature report June 5 was 54 degrees F and cabin was 60 degree F...since then she has reported a cabin temp of 65 degree F

Search and Rescue has been handed over to the French.

French navy vessel 2 1/2 days away has been diverted to EPIRB position. Fishing vessel 40 hours away has also been diverted to EPIRB location.

Initial EPIRB location was 557 NM NNE of PORT-AUX-FRANCIAS.

That is the extent of what we know.

This is the most full and complete info you will get from anywhere I was on the phone calls with her. If you hear anything else but this it is either not true or it is new info.
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