Abby Sunderland was attempting to become the youngest person (at 16 years of age) to sail solo around the world. On the morning of Thursday 10 June, 20 days after leaving Cape Town, high seas in the southern Indian Ocean dismasted her 40-foot yacht, Wild Eyes, leaving her stranded at sea. Several emergency beacons were detected by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). With the nearest ship at least 40 hours away and Abby's condition unknown, the Australian Rescue Coordination Center (RCC Australia) chartered a Qantas Airbus A330-300 (A330-303 VH-QPF) to fly from Perth to search the location reported by the emergency beacons, where radio communications established that Abby was unharmed but her boat cripped.
Her position is in a remote part of the Indian Ocean; the neaest land is Île Saint-Paul, a small volcanic island approximately 171 nm to the northeast. A larger group of islands, the Kerguelen Islands are approximately 556 nm south-southwest, but there is no permanent population and it is likely that rescue ships will take her to their port in Réunion.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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