June 10, 2010

SPECIAL EDITION: Abby Sunderland Activiates EPIRBs

Abby Sunderland, 16, has activated two EPIRBs in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Everyone is hoping for the best.

© Gizara Arts

Just three days after passing the halfway point in her solo circumnavigation, Thousand Oaks teen Abby Sunderland has reportedly set off two EPIRBs aboard her Open 40 Wild Eyes. Abby, 16, left Cape Town, South Africa on May 21 after an unexpected stop to repair failing autopilots, and was in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The Cape Town layover put an end to her amibition to become the youngest person to sail singlehanded, non-stop around the world, but she refused to give up on her dream to solo circumnavigate.

Wild Eyes latest reported position according to her website.

© Google

A press release sent out by her media team reports that her parents had spoken with Abby via sat phone this morning, and an hour later received word that two of her EPIRBs had been activated. She’d been seeing 60-knot winds and 20- to 25-ft seas throughout the night, and had been knocked down twice. "Everything seemed to be under control," Abby’s father Laurence was quoted. "But then our call dropped and an hour later the Coast Guard called."

The weather in the area where Abby is according to PassageWeather.com. Go there to see what the weather will be like in the area over the next few days.

© 2010 Passage Weather

ABC News reports that the two EPIRBs were manually activated around 6 a.m. PDT — one was attached to a survival suit — but that the boat’s water-activated EPIRB had not gone off yet. It’s unknown if Wild Eyes is afloat, or if Abby is aboard or in a liferaft. Rescue efforts are being headed up by the Reunion Islands and Australia. The nearest ship is reported to be 40 hours away.

Our thoughts are with Abby.

‘Yes We Can’ was a rallying cry in the ’08 presidential campaign, and one that was embraced by voters in yesterday’s Lake County primary elections.
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