Abby Sunderland is alive!

Good news on the 16 year old around the world sailor who had been missing:

Rescuers have made contact with Abby Sunderland, the Californian teenage sailor who went missing yesterday after her record attempt to circumnavigate the globe ran into a powerful storm in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Laurence Sunderland, Abby’s father, said that rescuers on board a chartered Australian aircraft who were looking for the 16-year-old had made contact with her earlier today and that she was alive.

“She’s fine, the boat’s afloat and she’s on it,” Mr Sutherland told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “It’s huge, fantastic, exciting news.”

Australian authorities are leading the international rescue effort, which has been under way since yesterday when an emergency signal on board Abby’s yacht, Wild Eyes, was activated.

There had been no communication with Abby after the alarm was raised and it is believed that her yacht has been drifting without a keel in heaving 18m (60ft) swells.

The last entry on her blog, which she was updating via satellite, described the menacing ocean conditions of a southern hemisphere winter. In an entry called “A rough few days”, posted on Wednesday, she wrote: “I’ve been in some rough weather for a while … The wind is beginning to pick up.”

A chartered Australian aircraft, carrying emergency volunteer air observers, as well as police and other rescuers, began searching for the boat earlier today, while Australian, US and French rescue authorities sent ships to her last known location, an area about 2,000 miles (3,220 km) southeast of Madagascar and 2,000 miles southwest of Australia. The boats are not expected to reach her location until Saturday.

She’ll have a story to tell I’m sure.

Crossposted at Brutally Honest.

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