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14 year old left for solo trip around the world
Posted: Sunday, August 22, 2010 2:36 PM
Joined: 13/02/2009
Posts: 23

A 14-year-old Dutch sailor departed in secrecy from Portugal on Saturday in her quest to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. However, the ambition of the young sailor has aroused worries over child protection.

On Saturday morning, supporters and media gathered at the port to witness the departure of the young sailor Laura Dekker.

However, the girl had left earlier.

Ferry Dammers, Voyage Sponsor said "At around 10.55 I spoke to her manager asking him what about her plans of leaving the port of Portimao and her manager confirmed she has already left early in the morning."

Laura's manager said the girl was in good spirits as she started sailing her 11.5-meter ship "Guppy". Her trip is expected to last a year or more.

The attempt has been criticized by Dutch child protection authorities who question the wisdom of a child risking the world's oceans alone.

A Dutch court last month released Laura from the guardianship of child protection agencies who had tried to block her voyage because of fears about her safety and psychological health.

If Laura completes the voyage, any record she claims would be unofficial.

The Guinness' World Records and the World Sailing Speed Record Council have decided they will no longer recognize records for "youngest" sailors to avoid encouraging dangerous attempts.

Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2010 1:20 PM
Joined: 29/07/2010
Posts: 1

Hey Bjorn, I hope all is well. I think it is pretty clear to assume a 14 year old child has no place trying to accomplish such a task. You have worked for me in years past and we both have spent time telling stories of things that have happened on voyages and thanks to the experience and quick thinking of crew everything turned out ok. To hear this young girl has an agent leads me to believe that this is a situation of her parents maybe wanting to use this as a means to generate revenue and a movie deal? No matter what the motive behind it all the CHILD should not be permitted to do this. It is a case of reckless behavior on her parents part and anything that may or probably will happen to her the parents are still responsible and should be punished to the full extent of the law. The sad part is that the child may not come home. No punishment is worth that sacrifice and what kind of parent allows this to happen? Its suicide on there behalf. That child may be a great sailor for her age but the reality of it is no matter how accomplished still has not near enough experience to set off around the world solo. To me this is just child abuse and if everyone was smart just give it zero attention and media coverage and hopefully it will not happen now or in the future. The media is most of the time the worst enemy for us all. Take care B!! Keith
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