California Teen Sailor Missing at Sea

UPDATE: Abby Sunderland has been found alive!

Abby Sunderland, a 16-year-old Southern California girl who is attempting to sail solo around the world is feared lost at sea after her emergency beacons began signaling and communication was lost.

From the Associated Press:

Abby Sunderland’s family was talking with U.S. and international governments about organizing a search of the remote ocean between southern Africa and Australia, family spokesman Christian Pinkston said.

Conditions can quickly become perilous for any sailor exposed to the elements in that part of the world.

“We’ve got to get a plane out there quick,” said Pinkston, who was in close contact with Sunderland’s family in Thousand Oaks.

“They are exhausting every resource to try to mobilize an air rescue including discussions with the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Coast Guard and various international rescue organizations,” he said.

Abby last communicated with her family at 4 a.m. PDT and reported 30-foot swells but was not in distress, Pinkston said.

From CNN:

The California 16-year-old’s sailboat was in the Indian Ocean, about 2,000 miles east of Madagascar and 2,000 miles west of Australia, when the boat started sending distress signals Thursday morning California time, Pinkston said. No one has been able to contact Sunderland.

Sunderland is trying to circumnavigate the globe alone. Her bid to be the youngest to do so nonstop was undone in early May when she stopped in South Africa for repairs.

Sunderland’s family was told at about 5 a.m. PT about the distress signals. The family had spoken to her just one hour earlier, and although she was in rough seas, she was not in distress at that time, according to Pinkston.

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