Saturday, June 12, 2010

Newsy: 16-Year-Old Sailor Found Alive

Following in her brothers footsteps, Abby Sunderland attempted to sail around the world alone. She became stranded and had to signal for help. Critics are questioning the parents.
“Abby Sunderland is alive and well ... Search and rescuer crews spotted the 16-year-old and her boat early this morning in the Indian Ocean hundreds of miles from land. The boat was still upright in the water but the mast and sail were broken.” (WCBS)
Sunderland was attempting to become the youngest person to sail around the world solo. That was before she encountered 30-foot swells and high winds. And now many critics are wondering if she was too young to attempt the feat.
We are analyzing coverage from WCBS, ninemsn, ABC and The Herald Sun.
First, to Australia's ninemsn — the controversy continues, even though Sunderland has been found.: “People had been very critical of this even before Abby set off on this adventure. One very well respected critic here in Los Angeles likened it to some type of child abuse.”
“They are endangering their rescuers in the southern ocean in the middle of winter. I mean, its great that we have these adventurers out there, but when they go out and do stupid things, and this is stupid, they are endangering the rescuers.”
Sunderland’s father, who was obviously supportive, defended his daughter's voyage and told ABC News that everyday activities can be just as dangerous: "How many teenagers die in car accidents every year? … Should we stop them from driving a car?"
But one British sailor quoted in The Herald Sun says sailing around the world at 16 is too young and now it's just a popular trend: "…being the youngest to sail around the world has become the fashion at the moment… When are we going to get 14-year-olds saying 'I want to do it?'"
So what do you think? Should Abby’s parents have allowed her to set sail? 

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