Teen sailor Abby Sunderland is found alive by spotter aircraft

June 11, 2010

A spotter jet over the Indian Ocean late Thursday made contact with 16-year-old Abby Sunderland, the Thousand Oaks solo sailor who was adrift in rough seas and heavy winds in her quest to circumnavigate the globe, a spokesman for the teen’s family said.

The Qantas Airways jetliner with dozens of harbor patrol spotters on board made radio contact with Sunderland.

Her boat was upright, but the mast had been knocked off by rough seas. She was in good health and had plenty of food and was waiting for the arrival of a fishing boat in about a day, said Jeff Casher, a technical advisor for the voyage.



June 11, 2010

Abby Sunderland is missing in the Indian Ocean

June 10th, 2010 10:23am

After her family spoke with Abby early in the morning, the American Search & Rescue authorities called to report having received a signal from her emergency beacon (EPIRB). It was  initially thought that the signal was sent automatically from her water-activated EPIRB and that it had been activated during one of her knockdowns. 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. Over the radio her family was helping her troubleshoot her engine that she was trying to start to charge her systems. Satellite phone reception was working very well. Fortunatelyshe was able to get the water out of the engine and start her up.

A little later 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.

This it was see says about her dream:

“It has been my dream since I was 13 years old and began single-handing, to one day sail solo around the world. I am 16 years old and this blog will contain the story of my attempt to become the world’s youngest solo circumnavigator.

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.

Abby want to takeover the record of the Australian Jessica Watson (also 16). She arrived last months in Sydney, after a voyage of seven Months. The Dutch Laura Dekker (14) Also wants ot give it a try but for the moment she is not allowed to leave as the Dutch Child Protection Unit forbids her to leave because of her age.

European Commission confirms my thesis

May 6, 2010

In my continuing fights to save the Grethe Witting and to defend my rights as Dutch owner of a Dutch Seagoing vessel that landed in Romania, I had  today a long talk with the European Commission in Brussels. The European Commission – Department of Maritime Affairs – confirmed that Romania never could have sold the registered sea going vessel by auction without a Dutch Court order, something that in the end led to the sinking of the Tall Ship Grethe Witting. A concatenation of errors, mistakes and incompetency.  Incompetency above all because the Romanian Court simply was and is not competent. Like me, they were surprised that a Romanian court wanted to rule on a case regarding a Dutch vessel, Owned by a Dutch citizen that has a Dutch Mortgage agreement concluded by a Dutch Notary and registered in the Dutch Mortgage Register for Dutch Vessels with a Dutch Financer.

We now proceed to the European Commissioner for Justice who hopefully can help us further

Disunity under Romanian authorities

May 5, 2010

Last week I was for a meeting in Mangalia where the Grethe Witting still is under water. It seems that the City Hall will take responsibility and that the Grethe Witting will be lifted in a couple of weeks.

With this also the discussion started about the ownership. The local authorities believe that Romanian Law prevails above European Law and when I referenced to the fact that Romania signed the EU treaty that tells otherwise, they denied and persisted that Romanian law has to be applied and not European law. However I got support for my point of view from some other officials: The Director General of the ANR, the Romanian Shipping Authority supports my point of view and believe that the court ruling was default. Moreover the former commandant of Constanta International Sea Port is convinced that mistakes have been made when the ship was sold without a court order of the State of Registration, as required by the EU regulation. In the meantime I contacted again my Dutch Ambassy in Bucharest and also Mrs. Corien Wortmann, member of the Euro Parliament and active supporter of the interests of the Bruine Vloot in Europe.

Grethe Witting sank as a result of neglectance

April 26, 2010

This articles has been moved to Grethe Witting News Blog