Friday, June 11, 2010

Photo and Flyover Update

Wild Eyes dismasted in the Southern Indian Ocean
Photo courtesy of Australian Search & Rescue

'Abby Sunderland was in great spirits after being spotted' say rescue members.



SEARCH and rescue crew members have described how stricken 16-year-old yachtswoman Abby Sunderland remained “in good spirits” after being spotted from the air yesterday.



A crew of 11 SES and FESA volunteers that were on board the 'spotter' airbus returned to Perth just after 7:30pm last night after successfully locating the troubled vessel in the Indian Ocean.



FESA taskforce leader Will Blackshaw said the crew had a very brief period of contact with the young sailor, but said she remained positive despite the setback.



"Abby is in very good spirits," he said.



"She's obviously keen to have some assistance, but she is in very good spirits.



"The window of opportunity to speak to her was very short, so we had very brief, direct conversations about her health, the condition of the vessel, and her communications.



"The seas are very rough indeed, and there is a lot of wind, and she is obviously going to have a very uncomfortable night of sleep.



"He said the plane was conducting its first pass of the area and had been searching for Abby for only 10 minutes when she was spotted from the air.



"It was a very happy moment for all of the people on board the plane," he said.



"However, it was a very serious moment as well, and we were all concentrating on the job at task which was to make contact with Abby.



"The crew then made radio contact with the young sailor, with the first words conveyed being "This is Abby".



Mr Blackshaw said the crew instructed Abby to activate two further EPIRB devices tomorrow afternoon to ensure a continuous signal for rescue crews to spot her.



FESA spokesman Chris Lawson confirmed a second, smaller plane would leave Perth Airport early this morning to conduct another sighting and ensure Abby was okay.SES volunteer Michael Wood, who spotted Abby's vessel from the airbus, said he had been excited to locate the boat.



"Because I was at the front of the plane, I just happened to spot Abby as she came into the field of view," he said.



"It was very nervy at first, but very exciting that positive contact had been made."



We're all mindful that Abby's got a number of hours left so we've all got our fingers crossed."



Sgt Mike Wear, from WA Water Police, said Abby sounded "very upbeat and very strong" during the brief contact.



"It certainly was a very emotional event to be able to speak to the young girl Abby today and see her in that predicament out there," he said.



"It was just a very small dot on the ocean – she was on the back deck (and) she was very hard to see.



Earlier today, Qantas refused to comment on how much the trip had cost the company or whether they would seek reimbursement for the flight.

499 comments:

  1. Awesome Aussies.

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  2. Thank God. Very happy to hear this. Thank you Quantas Airlines.

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  3. We are so happy to hear you are safe and sound! You are a courageous woman!

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  4. Again, Big Thanks for the Updates; and photo!

    Thanks to all the Search and Rescue Crew Members!!!

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  5. Just wanted to say how happy I am that Abby was found and is doing well. Hopefully she'll realize her dream of sailing around the world soon.

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  6. Wonderful news.
    Remain strong with this very inspirational story.

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  7. Thank God they found Abby alive. Praying for her safe return to dry land.

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  8. Thank God she's ok for now!

    Everyone in So Cal hopes for the best.

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  9. Now that she is safe, please bring her home! Why risk her life for a record, it is not worth it, please bring her home!

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  10. I'm thrilled to read this!
    Prayers will still be with Abby until she's safe and with her family.

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  11. I am so happy that Abby is safe. I am sure many have prayed for her around the world I am sure.

    But honestly there is a lot of anger out there as well. Your Rationalizations for this trip were just that. Nothing you have shown comes close to showing any real sailing experience. The Southern Ocean is no place to be at this time of year, by someone with so little experience.

    She is no doubt a courageous young lady, I wish her the best in life.

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  12. We are praying for Abby! Our whole family is watching. Our teens are very proud of her for her efforts! They are also adventuresome sorts! :) Hang tough Abby!

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  13. My prayers have been with you as soon as I heard the news and was relieved to hear her safe. My hat off to you and thanks for letting me travel with you on your adventure. Take care.

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  14. So happy with this news!!! My 10 year old daughter and I have been following Abby on her quest. We are sending positive thoughts and prayers to all of you.

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  15. good luck abby sunderland in the Brazil that we are praying for you God be your guide and you're going to win I love you

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  16. Abby is a true champion for surviving that storm, what an amazing inspiration and gift she is to the world! I'm in awe of her bravery and continue to pray for her safety. SM

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  17. sending you good energy and pray for your safe return. stay strong.

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  18. I prayed all night Friday for Abby's safety as did many others I'm sure. I will be eager to see her on dry land. Best to you, Miss Abby! Tish

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  19. That is such wonderful news! I have been so moved by this whole experience, and angered by the critics who say she's another "privileged child" doing things she shouldn't. I so disagree. So many teens grow up to do drugs, bully others, and dispicable things, I think Abby is to be admired for her courage and tenacity. She has not failed on this trip; her vessel failed her. She has proven to be up to the task over and over again as she has dealt with all sorts of setbacks. I admire her parents for supporting her in her quest; I'm not sure I would have been as courageous as they have been. But they knew the toughness and skills their daughter possesses. I am so glad for her and her family that she is safe!
    And kudos to the pilots that found her in that vast sea...must have been akin to looking for a needle in a haystack!

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  20. It is so wonderful to see her boat upright in that picture. Thank you for keeping us informed when you must be going through so much right now.
    Did she ditch the mast? Does her engine work?Will they rescue the boat too?

    Big hugs to you all,
    Jim

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  21. i hope abby is safe and returned home to her parents she is a very brave young lady i admire her skills and attempt to a world wide journey on her own i bet it was scary with all those waves i could never imagine being able to do something like that on my own may god be waching over abby and keep her safe and god bless her family as well.. sandy cuddlysweetgal87@yahoo.com

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  22. So great to hear you are okay! I've been quietly following your adventure since December and can only imagine the things you will accomplish in your future... You should be INCREDIBLY proud of yourself. You are touching the hearts of millions worldwide... really.

    Best wishes from a recent college grad in Upstate NY

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  23. I read through your entire blog today, what an amazing and courageous person you are. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family right now. I hope they can get to you soon. What an amazing journey you've had. Thank you for sharing your dream with us.

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  24. God bless each one of the people helping to find her and bringing her back home. I bless your families so God's grace be upon them for generations. Thank you. I am in MD, and I am so happy there are good people helping other people in need.

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  25. Wow sorry to hear of your bad luck. i'm glad your ok.

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  26. I am so relieved, however, my relief must be nothing compared to that of family & friends. The photo paints a better picture than what I had imagined but I'll still be anxious until I hear Abby is back safe, not only on a rescue vessel, but on dry land!
    Please continue to update with each new bit of news - thanks!!

    Very best wishes, Abby & family.

    Sarah, Ottawa, Canada

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  27. THANK GOD OUR PRAYERS HAVE BEEN WITH YOU

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  28. Fantastic news. Again, thank you so much for thinking of us out here who care.

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  29. God Bless you and your family Abby! So glad to see you safe.

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  30. Wonderful news. Congratulations and enormous thanks to the Australian rescue volunteers.

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  31. Our prayer warriors continue to pray for Abby and her family and those involved in the rescue.

    Thanks for the update!

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  32. Abby, I am so glad to hear you are ok, you ae an inspiration to so many! Prayer and thoughts are with you everyday. Enjoy the journey and be safe!

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  33. Glad they found her!!
    I would love to go on a sail boat

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  34. Continue to hang in there, dearest Abby and Wild Eyes.
    We know the Lord will keep you lifted up while you wait for the rescue, and in the days ahead.

    Love and prayers to you and the family from North Carolina

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  35. So happy to hear tha Abby is safe! She is one heck of a sailer!

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  36. I'm so glad that Abby has been spotted and is still in high spirits!

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  37. This is great news! I know it is very difficult for all loving family and friends, including all of these fantastic volunteers who are helping Abby.
    All of you are today's heroes! Keep very positive thoughts. Abby is a trooper.
    Our positive and loving thoughts are with all of you for a very successful ending!

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  38. Happy news that Abby is alive. Of course at this moment this is the most important piece of information.

    As the days pass and all of the Sunderland's reflect on the voyage, I invite them to look at the selfishness they have all inflicted on thousands of people. People who have risked their lives to rescue a 16 year old on a "dream" voyage. What would this voyage accomplish? Who will gain, but one 16 year old. If the "voyage" brought world peace or ended poverty or brought food to the starving--then the risk to all was worth it. But for a "dream", that has such impact on others who did not chose this dream, I think it time to rethink all of your choices. Do something for the world-not yourself.

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  39. Glad to hear you are okay.

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  40. Wow amazing story and adventure for such a young person. I can't even imagine how much preparation went into this ! Glad to see you're ok.

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  41. Thank goodness. I've been saying prayers for her since I heard. She is one tough cookie!

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  42. This is fantastic news! You guys must be so proud of her. I've told my children about Abby's voyage, and they were awed to see someone following their dreams like that. We're so glad she's safe. :)

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  43. Hello Abby,
    glad you are ok, do not let this stop you. Fix wild eyes and get back out there. you can do it.
    good luck.

    Brian Bentley :-)

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  44. So glad she is ok. You got an amazing girl on your hands! All our best, From Arizona!

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  45. Glad you are OK kid, you had the World worried. Good luck from a dry lander in Oklahoma.

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  46. The best of LUCK Abby !!!!! You have so much COURAGE. GOD SPEED and a safe return home....
    You GO GIRL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  47. What a courageous young woman. Surely Abby is destined to accomplish great things! I will continue to pray for your safe return home!

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  48. I am so happy she is ok!!! Thanks for the update.

    - John - Bellevue WA

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  49. Wow! Just Wow! I am 42 years old and find myself feeling frightened just at the thought of venturing out all alone in the ocean. Abby Is Amazing! What a brave young lady. Her parents must be feeling quite proud of her? As I would be. Abby, you've come a long way for sixteen! lol
    You are amazing!
    You Go Girl!
    Sharon Lynn

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  50. Glad to hear Miss Abbey is safe!

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  51. I AM SO GLAD THEY FOUND HER ALIVE AND WELL. SHE IS A VERY STRONG GIRL... GOD BLESS YOU ABBY

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  52. thanks for being there for her everyone and wow, i cant believe how strong willed she is. its very nice to read about Abby chasing her dream, it gives me alot of hope for things in my life that im trying to achieve... i really admire you Abby, I really hope you get home safe!

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  53. Australian Search and Rescue....You are awesome! Thank you for finding this young lady.

    Hang in there Abby...Everyone's pulling for you!

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  54. We love you Abbs!! Even though I dont know you personally I have been following you on your journey to succeed in your dream.I have a 17 year old sister. I know things arrent working out as planned, but does anything?? I am very proud of you and you give alot of hope and inspiration to alot of young Women.You have an Amazing Support System, Your family is so Great and I can see that, Its a Beautiful Thing! I am so glad to see you are Safe! God is with You! Hang in there and Keep that Amazing Spirit of Yours Up.. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and Prayers! Keep me Posted!!!
    -Tami
    If you ever need someone to chat with or maybe vent or just a friend i will be here! GodSpeed!
    Tazzami001@yahoo.com

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  55. What a joyous moment it was for me--a concerned stranger--to learn that Abby is alive and (relatively) well aboard Wild Eyes, waiting for rescue. As a parent, I easily can imagine the sense of joy and relief this news must have been for her parents and the rest of her family and friends. Australian Search & Rescue, by taking it upon themselves to search and make contact with Abby, at some risk and without immediate concerns about cost or liability, has made a statement about the extraordinary value of a single human life. One person, far out at sea and without means of communication, was in trouble and AS&R made it their business to scramble resources to contact and assist that person. In this age of mindless terrorism where we are deluged with news about bombers with idiot bombs which mow down dozens of people at a time, as though they were dominoes, it's reassuring to know that there still are people and places on our planet where the preciousness of every single life is still in evidence. Thank you AS&R for your actions, and while I may be jumping the gun a bit here for her safe return, Welcome home, Abby!

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  56. BRAVO ABBY, BRAVO!!!

    What courage, competence and presence you have. Brilliant. We are all following you at home and around the world wishing you all the best in this tough spot. We know you will make it and come back for more. You are an inspiration to us all. God bless you and keep you safe.

    Cheers,
    Chris and Jimmie Pratt

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  57. Thank God she is ok! I couldn't sleep last night thinking about it.

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  58. Hooray!! I was praying she would be found safe and sound. God bless her and the family.
    Kevin, Azusa, CA

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  59. dear abby and family

    i am a follower of you since you left and i hope all your equipment gets working again and they fix your mast because it would be great that a girl your age actually set a record like that

    may god be with you
    and god speed

    p.s. hope you get a chance to blog again love reading your accounts from the ocean

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  60. Good to know she's doing alright.
    Wish a good rescue!

    Keep us update!

    Regards
    Felipe Rezende - Brazil

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  61. Abby we love you!

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  62. Not having much experience at sailing what are the chances of having the French vessel help rebuild the mast and continuing with the journey?

    Paul
    West Des Moines, IA

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  63. This is such great news!

    As for the very last part if Qantas seeks reimbursement, set up a paypal donation account. We'll all help pay.

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  64. Thank you, Jesus! Please keep Abby in prayer until she is safely returned to her family. Thank you to all involved in her search and rescue, prayers for your safety are being lifted as well.

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  65. Great news!

    Mr. and Mrs. Sunderland, you have raised an amazing daughter! I think she has a very bright future in front of her.

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  66. That is incredible news!!! What a strong girl you are Abby! Keep up the good spirits. Many people in this world are thinking good thoughts for your safe return!

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  67. Three cheers for Congressman Elton Gallegly and our Australian neighbors! Congressman Gallegly had offered his help to the Sunderlands some time ago. Yesterday when things looked bleak, a call to him resulted in his staff engaging three agencies in minutes. In less than 5 minutes the State Department, with location coordinates in hand, was in full swing with our country’s friends. Thank you Mr. Gallegly! Your concern for Abby is greatly appreciated.

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  68. Brother in ChristJune 11, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!! I will continue praying for you Abby, all the way through your safe rescue!!!

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  69. WHO cares about the cost at this point...it's worth every penny to her family to KNOW she is OK right now. If that was MY DAUGHTER, I would have NO problem paying WHATEVER someone wanted to LOCATE and establish contact with her...for HER and for our sanity. Knowing that when she saw that plane her spirits were lifted and KNEW help was coming and could be confident she was only hours from being helped is priceless. I am SURE her family would agree.

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  70. congrats Qantas! Such a Great Asset - your People on the board ! Happy to hear that Abby is good! hopefully she could continue her trip after some repair work is done to her Wild Yeas - to fulfill her dream! - She is such an inspiration to American teens, who love to watch movie, eat chips and popcorn, hardly ever dream or intend to work hard! I love her being able to dream and to achieve something amazing just by working really-really hard! keep it up, Abby!!!

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  71. Thank God she's safe and sound! Hopefully they'll be able to tow Wild Eyes to port get her repaired so Abbey can finish what she started! Good luck kiddo! God speed!!!

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  72. Hi Abby,
    I'm glad your ok!

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  73. I am so glad you are safe. Remember, Jesse was dismasted too -- just at a different point in her campaign.

    Thank you for inspiring me by pursuing your dreams.

    Alex
    Seattle

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  74. Thank God! I will continue to pray for her safe return.
    Abby's parents should be proud of how she is handling herself and the fire in her spirit that this world works so hard to squelch.

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  75. Glad she's okay. Will she get the boat fixed and continue?

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  76. Abby, you are a rock star. At 16 you have more courage than the the whole of my 32 years. Of course we don't know eachother but I look up to you and I am proud of the woman you are. You are a great example for women around the world. Shine Bright my dear.
    Hugs!

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  77. Thank God she's OK!

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  78. I have been following this blog since my cousin posted on facebook about Abby missing Im glad she is ok I have been praying for her since. It takes an amazing kind of teen to do what she is doing, I hope she has a safe trip the rest of the way. I will keep praying for her everyday

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  79. Should she be cutting her rigging?

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  80. I am so glad to hear that she is doing fine. Believe it or not I didn't know much about her expedition. I just noticed on the news the other day that she has not been in contact for a little while. I know nothing about Abby, but what I do know is that she is an extreamly brave young woman, that I at 31 years old look up to. If you read this post Abby just know that you inspired yet another person. Thank you Abby and good luck.

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  81. So awesome to find that little dot in a big ocean! Now more waiting, but everything will be fine! Thinking of you all - one at sea and the rest at home! Michelle & family, on the west coast of B.C., Canada

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  82. Abby:
    GO GIRL GO!!!!

    I am glad and relieved to hear the good news that you are OK; however, I am sorry that Wild Eyes took such a hit. Your choice of Wild Eyes was a very good, for Wild Eyes protected you and watched over you. She is your guardian!

    Relax, be safe, and rest for the trip ahead. Please do not listen to the naysayers about your dream, your life, or your voyage. You have done more at the ripe old age of 16 then most of us do in our whole life. When you are old and sitting in the rocking chair you will be able to say, I had a dream and I lived it. The other people around you will be saying "I wish that I had done something, anything, during my life." You are a remarkable young lady that is reaching for the stars, which you will reach.

    I wish that I could tell you this in person but a delayed EMail will have to do.

    Remeber, "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

    GO GIRL GO!!!!!!!!

    John R Willis

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  83. Im scared looking at the pic lol Thats cool though more power to her !!! Have fun and becareful out there !!! You also made the news thought id let you know !!! ♥ Cari

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  84. Abby, we're so glad you're safe. You're an inspiration!!!

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  85. John S. (arizona)June 11, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    I'm so glad Abby is safe, I worried all day yesterday, and couldn't get it out of my mind. Even though I know she is capable, smart, and well prepared, it troubled me greatly. I'm so relieved. One tough young lady for sure. I'm sorry she ran into trouble, but I still have to say what a journey of a lifetime! Hip, hip, hooray for Abby.
    Take care.

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  86. Let the naysayers say what they will. Abby is very well trained and equipped. Stuff happens out to sea. She is probably at greater risk driving on a Southern California freeway where training and support don't count.

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  87. hey Abby i just wanted to say that what u did is amazing and i cant belive that u did it and i am glad that u are ok i hope that you had well a good time i bet it was realy cool i hope that u can do it agian someday my name is Erika Ward and i would love to meet you someday that wouls be awesome well like i said im glad ur ok and i hope i can read more great stuff about you someday good luck with everything you have going with your live ur going to make it far....

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  88. This is sooo great to see! I think you and your family are very special!
    More families should support their kids dreams, and encourage them!
    Great Job Abby on a such an undertaking, and great job to your parents and support teams, for truly caring and supporting your kids dreams!

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  89. So good to hear Abby is ok. We are from Florida and have been following the story on the edge of our seats. The media is retarded giving your family grief about Abby's age and what has happened. We send all warm thoughts and support to your family...go Abby!!!

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  90. Oh my God, it was so good to see that picture of your boat upright, and to hear that you are OK and in good spirits. I was so disheartened when I saw on Fox News that you had activated your ERB. God bless you dear brave Abbey.

    Mark, USN retired.

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  91. A scary picture of Wild Eyes, but a very reassuring picture. You are in my prayers Abby. Nancy M.

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  92. Good news indeed! Looking forward to hearing Abby's account of these days.

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  93. It is amazing to me to see how many supporters there are here of this voyage (esp. the adults). I have to say as a person who works with children I am actually more on the shocked side. After seeing her story on TV I thought for sure most people we see this for what it is and this would not be as big as it is today.

    There is encouraging children to accomplish their dreams and then there is just being ridiculous. If a child wants to be a race car driver when they get their license at 16, do we encourage them to rip through the city streets as fast as they can or take them to an empty lot to practice going 100mph in loops and then say ooh, how wonderful and inspiring they are because they are "achieving their dreams" and "doing more than the rest of us". NO NO NO. Why? Because it is dangerous. It just takes that one time to put lives in danger... one little mistake, one pot hole in the concrete, or in Abby's case one bad storm...

    Thank God she is okay!

    Hopefully everyone here is grounded back to the realities of how encouraging this 16 year old girl might not have been the wisest of thing to do. And if you don't get this or you like to live in constant denial, wait till your teenager begs you to do something really stupid/ dangerous and then think of Abby.

    As for Abby. I wish her well and hope she has a safe journey home, back to her very loving parents who should now be made to pay for the cost of bringing their daughter back home. If there is disagreement with this then think back to that teenager example above. If that race car wanna be was racing through your area and, God forbid, hit you in your car, who's paying for it? That's right, the parents who bought them the car, has them on their insurance and handed them the keys. Should you pay for it? No, but that's where the money is coming from right now (tax dollars- duh) and we're in a recession.

    Now think about how this is their second child (out of seven children total) they sent out to do this kind of trip and think about how you've been slaving away at work, pinching pennies, so your not out on the street like a lot of other people right now. I think they can afford it!

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  94. She is an amazing young girl and she needs each and every one of us now to pray for her safe return. I think this is not the time for negative comments. Dear Abby I am prying for you with my full power. May Allah bring you safe to your family. My heart is with you.
    I am a Muslim from Egypt who is working in Saudi Arabia

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  95. Great news and great job, folks. Truly a testament to the prep work that went into this adventure. Now, patch her up, shake it off, and get back on course! She sails for all of us who never had this great opportunity.

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  96. Forza Abby!!!!!! from Italy my thought is for your dream...

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  97. YES!!!!!!! You are one brave Kid-O, I was cheering when I saw the news flash.

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  98. Abby....Good luck in recovering. Help is on the way.....Stay strong....Be cool. Chase in Charlotte N.C.

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  99. Thank God Abby is fine! Also, just want you to know that there is at least one person (parent) who thinks it's a good thing to let your kids f9ollow their dreams! Abby should be an inspiration to the gazillions of kids out there who do absolutely nothing with their lives! Kudos to you and we'll keep Abby in our prayers!

    Shell Washam in Tennessee

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  100. EXCELLENT NEWS! I couldnt be happier! Phew! I sure was worried about you Abby. Go get em girl <3

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  101. Hang in there, Abby. You are well-trained, brave, and strong, and although it must be harrowing, I know you'll make it through this.

    I really admire you for setting out, and I know you will remain undaunted and will have success the next time.

    For now, we're praying for your safe return.

    Slan leat,
    David

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  102. what happened should make you think on how irresponsible you are to risk a kids life like that for your own glory.. and abuse the Australian search and rescue's resources for such a pointless endeavor.

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  103. dont consider this event as a failure-to survive this storm has cahnged your life forever-stay warm and safe

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  104. Great News! Best of Luck Abby!

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  105. Great report! "this is Abby" I just love it!
    I was hoping that dark spot on the back deck was her and indeed it was! Looking forward to them picking her up.
    That begs my next question; Can Wild Eyes be towed in and if so how?

    Melanie in Torrance

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  106. Glad Abby is alright! :)

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  107. So glad to hear that Abby is okay. She sounds like a very strong girl with a wonderful support team.

    Abby is a inspiration to all of us. Sail on!

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  108. An answer to many prayers! Excellent response by the rescue groups.

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  109. We are sooooooo happy to hear that Abby has been fount and is fine! We had a lot of people praying for her and sending"flat sea" energy to her!

    My husband and I just embarked 2 months ago on our own trip around the world on our sailboat, but will probably break the record for the slowest circumnavigation as we will be taking about 8 years or more! We have been keeping track of both Abby and Zack!

    This is great, great news!

    Kathleen and Spencer Bailey
    www.sailvicarious.com

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  110. Thank God, Qantas, and everyone involved in the search for Abby.

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  111. Nice to know that she is doing all right.

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  112. Hang in there Abby! You are strong! Sending prayers.

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  113. Still praying and holding my breath until I see her on land!! Hang on, Abby, help is on the way, babes!!! I am delighted she has been located, Thank GOD!!! I can not imagine your relief.

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  114. Keep up the spirit, and stay strong Abby!

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  115. Thank Goodness for copass and sar / sat EPIRB she had onboard. She had the right gear onboard and knew when to use it. Also thank the NOAA team staffs the the station in Suitland, MD for a job well done.
    The NOAA-SARSAT Office and the U.S. Mission Control Center is located at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility on the Suitland Federal Center complex in Suitland, Maryland.

    Our physical address is:

    NOAA/SARSAT - NSOF
    4231 Suitland Road
    Suitland, MD

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  116. Thanks for the update! I'm happy to hear she's doing well under these circumstances.

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  117. I hope and pray my kids have your spirt. Good to hear you are safe. Never give up on your dream!!

    Kentucky

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  118. man, Abby.. You are seriously one of a kind. Very, very brave. Saw the update on your rescue and was happy* to learn you were OK. I'm all the way from Oregon U.S.A. :)

    Good job girl, good job. Everyone's excited to hear from you. well good luck, and I hope you can get some sleep/rest. You sound like you need it.

    stay safe, and good luck :)

    oh ya great idea on the blog, you are keeping everyone excited about your whole trip. :)

    take care.

    Stan.

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  119. YaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaY!!!!
    CJ

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  120. Thank goodness she is safe.

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  121. Prayers and thoughts are with you--God Bless Abby! Kudos to Mr.& Mrs. Sunderland for doing such a fine job rearing Abby--what a sharp young lady!

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  122. Awesome news to hear Abby is safe!!

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  123. Abby and her family are a true and lasting inspiration. As a father of three boys, I worry about the influence that our society is having on them. In a time when there are so few genuine role models; so few people who set out to accomplish great feats driven by their strong character and spirit, Abby and her family serve as a true and lasting inspiration.

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  124. Your Oklahoma Well-WisherJune 11, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    You all are in my prayers -- Abby, rescue crews, team Abby, the family... Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

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  125. God bless and keep you Abby. You are in my prayers.
    Your parents and sibling are as well.

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  126. Thank goodness Abby is okay! I've been reading her blog for a while now and was horrified to hear the news!

    While it's nice to see a picture of Abby and Wild Eyes, it scary to see Wild Eyes dismasted. It looks all wrong. :(

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  127. Abby is such an incredible young woman. I have no doubt that her level head, self-discipline, and common sense have brought her through this ordeal thus far... and I know she will continue to be safe until rescuers reach her. Abby is going to do great things in her life. Thank you for giving us your daughter. She is a positive influence during a time of such worldwide uncertainty. God bless her and keep her safe.

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  128. Go to Qantas' and Australian Search & Rescue's websites and send them a thank you! I'm sure they will appreciate it.

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  129. I'm glad Abby was found and she is ok. My prayers for a fast returned to her love ones.

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  130. Utterly one of the most daring, brave, outgoing scenarios I've ever heard of anyone of this age doing...especially by herself! I was equally amazed to hear of her brothers accomplishment last year. I've spent the past 23 years encouraging adult business owners to rise above their basic fears and strive to achieve more and this is a story I will never forget to share as a comparison to life's basic challenges. I was heartbroken to hear of yesterday's search mission and Abby's vessel setbacks. I'm praying for your safety and success! I've always wanted to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone as Hollywood heroes but Abby, has most definitely been pushed to the top of the list. Go for it!!!!

    Joe Di Maria
    Reston, VA U.S.A.

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  131. glad she is OK. I feared the worst.

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  132. I am so very happy at the good news! I prayed for you last night when I heard contact was lost and there might be a problem. I hope the rescue boats arrive soon. God bless you and keep you safe.

    Daniel in SC

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  133. Yes, "This is Abby" Hang in there Abby we are all right there with you. Your equipment may have let you down. But you never let us down. We are all proud of you. Godspeed in getting back on course to follow your dream.

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  134. I am so glad she is ok...That is the best news!!!

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  135. As a parent and avid sailor from the Marina Del Rey area I can't tell you the relief I feel for Abby and her family that she is located and is ok. I have watched the news reports on "how could a parent allow a child to do this" but I have to say that there comes a point which you have given your children all the guidance you can and you have to provide them the tools to find their own way. As a kid I read the book "Dove" the story of Robin Graham as he completed his journey around the world and I would sit on our boat in the marina wondering how it would be to complete that task and he didn't even do it non stop. I am glad the young lady is safe, I'm glad she got the experience she did and I hope that after regrouping herself she doesn't lose focus on her dream and record or not I hope she someday finds her dream of sailing around the world

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  136. Our prayers and well wishes are with you Abby. Sara, Mel & Emily Mertz, Auburn, Washington

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  137. I haven't really been following Abby's story much. However, yesterday when I saw that contact had been lost and beacons set off, I was so afraid and concerned. When I heard that a plane was expected to reach her destination last night, I kept our TV on all night, waiting to hear she was found. I prayed and prayed. I am very happy for your family (and Abby) that she is. I will continue to watch and pray that she continues to stay safe until they reach her.

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  138. Great news! Glad to hear she is ok!

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  139. Greetings from Canada!
    We are so happy that everything OK!!!!
    You are a very brave girl, Abby!

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  140. Hang in there, Abby! You still accomplished a major feat!

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  141. Abby,
    Glad to hear you are ok. Please be careful. Take care.

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  142. WOW! It's amazing to see a young person like yourself attempts to push the limit for such adventure alone. You're brave! I've worked in very rough sea but nothing compared to what you're facing. Thanks for the inspiration Abby!

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  143. lol, your a badass kid.

    I prayed for u.

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  144. Every sailor in the world is pulling for this brave spirit. Good on Oz for coming through for her and we hope that the next 24 hours see a weather window and a stretch can get down to her and take it from there.
    This is a great lesson in adventure and the human spirit and I respect this young woman's guts and smarts.

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  145. Yeah Abby! Hooray for Australian Search and Rescue.

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  146. Her parents should be criminally indicted for allowing such a stupid stunt. As a result, search and rescue personnel had to take their valuable time and resources, not to mention putting their lives at risk, to look for her. What a disgrace.

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  147. i hope your doing well abby! i was a wreck when i herd about this! your definitely in my prayrs!


    -TojC
    Panama City, Florida.

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  148. Good luck Abby,all of us here in the U.S. are praying for you!

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  149. I have been following your journey periodically from early on and am SO RELIEVED to learn that you are alive and well, Abby! All day yesterday I thought of you and wished for you the courage to hold on until rescuers arrived--hoping of course you were still in or near your boat.

    You are such an incredible human being. Impressive and admirable beyond description. You have inspired so many people, including me. Thank you.

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  150. Just amazing! My thoughts are with her and all of you!

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  151. I could not be prouder of Abby if she was my own daughter. I am a cruser my self and understand what she is up against. Been following her daily since she left and she seems as capable as anyone I have ever met.Good Luck
    Abby

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  152. Way to go, Abby!! I started following your blog a few days before your trouble. Just by reading your blogs, it is evident how extremely intelligent and resourseful you are. Your parents must be very proud! Hang in there, you're a real trooper. I'll be following your blog from Ohio. Mindy Inloes

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  153. What a brave young lady!! Prayers are with her while she waits for assistance! Alberta, Canada

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  154. Abby, so sorry your boat is broken! But so glad that you are okay!

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  155. Thanks for keeping us updated. We are praying for her. Don't let the media hassle you! They want us to live in fear, and I am glad you guys have given her the training, and ability to do this!

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  156. Go girl go! Stay safe.

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  157. God's speed to you all-- you are in our thoughts.

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  158. I think I see something in the water just astern of Wild Eyes. Could it be a sail? Has she cut away the mast? Or maybe she's intentionally dragging a something to act as a sea anchor.

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  159. WE'LL KEEP YOU IN OUR PRAYERS. FIX HER UP AND FINISH YOUR TOUR.

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  160. Thank goodness she is safe! She's a brave storng young woman. Best of luck!

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  161. Good luck with the rescue! Happy to hear you are safe.

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  162. Abby I couldn't sleep last night until I knew you were going to be "OK." I have five of my own children and have followed Zack and your adventures DAILY. I cried for the first time in many years when I heard you were in trouble. I believe in prayer and I am sure the hotline in heaven was ringing off the hook as your supporters got down on bended knee and asked our Lord to look after Abby.

    Best wishes for a safe trip back home,

    ~Scott
    West Central Ohio

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  163. Hello I bet the girls to proud to explaine she is tired and wishes she could get a little sleep I was just wondering why some former navy skydiver or army paratrooper couldn't maybe a couple of you couldn't jump in and give the young lady a hand until the ships get there. Just a thought.Maybe somebody could pass this request along to the proper authorities like her father and mother.

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  164. So happy that you are safe and sound Abby. I pray that God will continue to keep you safe from the top of your head to the soles of your feet in Jesus mighty name.

    Becca

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  165. Really great news, Abby is one tough cookie!
    Much respect, from Sarah in Ireland.

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  166. so glad you are in one piece! Will you get the needed repairs and try to continue?

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  167. I'm am so glad she is okay! She is an inspiration for so many people, including me! Go Abby!

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  168. Wow, I have been in business for 20 plus years. Abby you are going to go very far with whatever you decided to do in life!! Young people, I guess Im old now at 40, never cease to amaze me. Do not let the setbacks stop you from your dreams. The vast majority of people never realize a small percentage of there real potential and wander through life with not real direction. At 16 you already have direction and have shown you are a survivor!!! You have a new fan now and I cannot wait to see what is next for you once this is over. I was thrilled to hear they made contact with you and cannot wait to see what you accomplish next!!!

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  169. Very happy for you all. What a relief. Best wishes for a speedy rescue and either remasting or going home. I've read some of your blog since I found out that you were missing. What an adventure you are having - you weren't an average kid when you started out, and now it seems you've had more 'character building' experience in the past week than most kids will have in a lifetime. Hope you are safe soon.

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  170. hey there all in Team Abby, geeze, your got some good news there. hope you get Abby back soon. here in Oz, we're all thinking about her. Cheers. P & J

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  171. Some have said you are too young to sail alone around the world. I disagree. Personal skills are the determining factor and you obviously have them. I wish you the best of luck and only wish there was a way to repair your boat at sea so you could continue your journey. I hope others will consider the book 'Dove' about a 16 year old boy that sailed around the world alone in the 1960's. For those that do not sail they will never know the joy and harmony of wind and sails on the open water. Good luck and as I like to say, "Sheet in the main, trim out the jib, red buoy to port, we're headin' out to sea."

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  172. I'm so happy to hear that you're safe Abby! Good luck on the rest of your journey!

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  173. Be safe. Be sure these are your dreams and not your father's dream. Live your life the way you want to, not how other's think you should. Dad - life is precious, be sure you are giving the correct guidance.... peace...

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  174. From an Old Salt and WildLands FireMan,
    "You GO GIRL!"
    Thank God, you didn't ahve a "nice float around the Bay. You wouldn't have learned a thing. This (your challege) is the kind of stuff that'll make a man of you before your Mother.
    Remember, Stay Calm, (you sure do!) and do what you learned in practice sessions. Do what you know is right. This is just another practice session.

    Sincerely,
    williamofcrestone@yahoo.c
    just an old man who really Admires You.

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  175. So she lost her mast and her sails. Were they ripped out? Abby glad you're doing A-OK! You owe us a detailed blog on what happened. Pictures too! :P

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  176. way to go Abby it is the courage and spirit that you show that is missing in the youth of today and what made this country great. to hell with all the short sighted nimrods that think letting you go was wrong. we need more examples of youth like you and your family. good luck in the future.

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  177. Awesome! I have been so worried about this young lady. I pray she will be rescued soon and be home safely.... and then stay out of the sea unless she is accompanied by someone else. This is so dangerous. But I do admire her for her strength in all this.

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  178. THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait to hear that our Abby is safe on land and back with the family. Too bad that Wild Eyes has to be scuttled, but of course, nothing else can be done. She did her job in keeping Abby safe in dangerous conditions--just as she was supposed to.

    Again, I'm so happy that Abby will be fine and that she is coming home safe and sound. A great early Father's Day gift for Laurence!
    --Sue McGah
    Laguna Niguel, CA

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  179. Oh Thank you so much for posting this picture. It was so good to see that Wild Eyes is intact and still floating away. Praise God !! My husband and I were praying for you last night Abby. I must say it did make for a restless sleep last night not knowing if you were ok. Praising God today with a smile on my face knowing that you are holding on. Can't wait until you are safe on that fishing boat. Many Blessings and we will continue to pray for you sweet Abby !! The McDonald's

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  180. As an Australian may I say we are so pleased that she is OK and we too await her safe return. I hope that her spirit of adventure and challenging the norms is not lost, for in every journey there are lessons and setbacks and it is those who rise above them in life who are the successful amongst us all. My family are proud of her no matter what the outcome, because she has dared to follow her dream and been supported by her parents!!!Our prayers are with you all.

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  181. God's Speed to your rescue and I wish I had the courage (at 55) of this remarkable young lady.

    God bless Abby and her entire family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Perry (from Alabama)

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  182. News from Olivier Marsan (F6GDU) in Paris, France, via E-mail. 2010 Jun 11 20:53 UTC (13:53 PDT) QSL ok just received from mrcc la reunion position 40°45',4S 75°30',4E
    BEST REGARDS
    OLIVIER MARSAN F6DGU NETMAR INDIAN OCEAN COORDINATOR

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  183. I just learned of your predicament and was so happy to hear they located you because of your amazing resourcefulness. It will be a while til you are finally in safe hands but from what I have read so far about you, you are a fighter and will not give up. You are a brave and wonderful young woman. Never use that.

    Garnette Santa Monica California

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  184. Hello,
    Thanks be to God Abbey is ok!!! I was praying for you and really hoping that all would be well. What a wonderful adventure to be on at such a young age. I was drawn to your adventure and have been inspired by your courage. I have a 16 year old daughter as well. She has autism and will not ever be able to do what you are. But she is on her own adventure and her winds and waves are daily challenges with anxiety, loneliness and depression. God speed Abbey!
    I pray that you and my daughter will accomplish all that God delights in you doing and becoming.
    I can't imagine how it feels to be drifting on the Indian Ocean, awaiting rescue. We are with you in spirit! And continue to pray for you and wish you all the best!
    Dawn

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  185. Sure glad Abby is OK...guess the water gods just weren't going to let her finish this trip...but an awesome attempt and thanks for letting us all be a part of it...I've been following her since Day 1 and she has a lot to proud of for her perseverance, strength and wonderful attitude...God bless all of the Sunderlands! Scott

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  186. cost should not be an issue when it comes to saving a life.

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  187. Such great news that she's OK. When is the next circumnavigation attempt?

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  188. A lot of people are criticizing this mission, and I think that is wrong. A ship in the harbor may be safe, but that is not what ships were made for. Go Abby!

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  189. Glad you are well. I hope you will now use your time to tell all of the other kids that this has been done many times over and kids no longer need to risk their lives to do it. Glad you are ok!

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  190. Very cool of Qantas, because that is so controversial and the family doesn't need that right now. Great work for Abby staying calm and upbeat. Very glad she is OK!

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  191. This is wonderful news! Hang on Abby, help is on the way.

    In the photograph, there appears to be a white object (under water) behind the boat. Could this be her rigging and white sail being dragged along? Or am I just imagining it?

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