UPDATE Saturday June 12, 2010
Abby Sunderland has been picked up by a fishing vessel. Here's the excerpt from her blog:
Sorry I haven't written in so long as you probably already know I had a pretty rough couple of days. I can't write much now as I am typing on a french key pad as well as trying to stay seated in a bouncy fishing boat.
The long and the short of it is, well, one long wave, and one short mast (short meaning two inch stub.) I'll write a more detailed blog later, just wanted to let every one know I am safe and sound on a great big fishing boat headed I am not exactly sure where.
Crazy is the word that really describes everything that has happened best.
Within a few minutes of being on board the fishing boat, I was already getting calls from the press. I don't know how they got the number but it seems everybody is eager to pounce on my story now that something bad has happened.
There are plenty of things people can think of to blame for my situation; my age, the time of year and many more. The truth is, I was in a storm and you don't sail through the Indian Ocean without getting in at least one storm. It wasn't the time of year it was just a Southern Ocean storm. Storms are part of the deal when you set out to sail around the world.
As for age, since when does age create gigantic waves and storms?
I keep hitting the wrong keys and am still trying to get over the fact that I will never see my Wild Eyes again. So Ill write more later.
UPDATE Friday, June 11, 2010
Abby Sunderland is safe and a French vessel is en route to meet her. Here is the latest blog from soloround.blogspot.com:
"We have just heard from the Australian Search and Rescue. The plane arrived on the scene moments ago. Wild Eyes is upright but her rigging is down. The weather conditions are abating. Radio communication was made and Abby reports that she is fine!
We don't know much else right now. The French fishing vessel that was diverted to her location will be there in a little over 24 hours. Where they will take her or how long it will take we don't know."
Thursday, June 10, 2010: The search is on to locate Abby Sunderland, the 16-year-old from California,U.S., who set out on her solo circumnavigation attempt earlier this year. According to the latest update on Sunderland’s blog, she was in the southern Indian Ocean when her manually activated EPRIB began transmitting a signal in the early morning hours on Thursday, June 10, 2010.
This blog was posted by Abby's family on Thursday, June 10: "We spoke with Abby early this morning and learned that she had had a very rough day with winds up to 60 knots and seas 20-25 feet. She had been knocked down several times but was handling things well. The wind had subsided to around 35 knots which she and Wild Eyes are quite comfortable with.
We were helping her troubleshoot her engine that she was trying to start to charge her systems. Satellite phone reception was patchy. She was able to get the water out of the engine and start her up. We were waiting to hear back from her when American Search & Rescue authorities called to report having received a signal from her emergency beacon (EPIRB). We initially thought that the signal was sent automatically from her water-activated EPIRB and that it had been activated during one of her knockdowns. As we pulled the paperwork from her EPIRB registration, we learned that the signal had come from her manually activated EPIRB.
We were referred to Australian Search & Rescue and while we were on the phone with them another signal came in from her handheld PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). Her water-activated EPIRB has not been activated so we are hopeful that the boat is still upright.
We are working closely with American, French and Australian Search & Rescue authorities to coordinate several ships in the area to divert to her location. There are several ships in her area, the earliest possible contact is 40 hours. We are actively seeking out some sort of air rescue but this is difficult due to the remoteness of her location. Australian Search & Rescue have arranged to have a Quantas Airbus fly over her location at first light (she is 11 hours later). They will not be able to help her other than to talk via marine radio if they are able to get close enough. Hopefully, they will be able to assess her situation and report back to us.
Abby has all of the equipment on board to survive a crisis situation like this. She has a dry suit, survival suit, life raft, and ditch bag with emergency supplies. If she can keep warm and hang on, help will be there as soon as possible. Wild Eyes is designed for travel in the Southern Ocean and is equipped with 5 air-tight bulkheads to keep her buoyant in the event of major hull damage. It is built to Category 0 standards and is designed to self-right in the event of capsize.”
The Race is On