Exactly one week after 16-year-old Thousand Oaks teen Abby Sunderland activated two EPIRBs after being dismasted, a Dutch court extended a ban preventing 14-year-old Laura Dekker from setting off on her own quest to become the youngest person to solo circumnavigate. "Not enough attention has been paid to the court’s concerns for her social-emotional and identity development," said judge Suzanne Kuypers. Dekker’s lawyer, Peter de Lange, says the child has prepared "fanatically" for the voyage, "she even bought a new boat: a bigger, safer boat with more instruments." A July 20 hearing will hear testimony from a "sailing expert" and determine the girl’s emotional readiness. In May, an appeals court upheld the original ban, saying that Dick Dekker, Laura’s father, "has a limited appreciation of the risks involved" and "overestimates" his daughter’s abilities. Sound familiar?
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