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Yacht Abandoned by Teenager Found after 8 Years

Yacht Abandoned by Teenager Found after 8 Years

Saturday, 5 January, 2019 - 06:15
A destroyed boat that has come ashore following Irma in Summerland Key, Florida, US. (Picture: REUTERS)
Canberra - London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Eight years after a teenager tried to sail in it around the world, a 12-meter yacht, abandoned in the Indian Ocean near the southern coast of Australia, was found.

According to the German news agency, police in the Australian city of Canberra said in a statement that a plane tracking tuna swarms was the first to detect the yacht "Wild Eyes," overturned and covered with marine organisms near the Kangaroo Island, a popular tourist destination in southern Australia.

The yacht was identified on Wednesday as the boat used by 16-year-old American teenager Abby Sunderland to travel in 2010 in an attempt to become the youngest person to travel around the world alone and without assistance crews.

Sunderland was rescued after a storm destroyed her boat in the heart of the Indian Ocean, about 3,320 km from the coasts of Africa and Australia. The ABC channel released a statement by Sunderland in which she said: "I was surprised and excited after finding the boat."

"It brought back memories, good and not so good, but it was neat to see it after so long. It looked a little creepy, that's to be expected after so long," she added.

Sunderland began a boat trip from California in January 2010 and had to stop twice because of two technical failures. After spending five months in the sea, the waves, which reached a height of nine meters, broke off her boat in the Indian Ocean, so she sent SOS signals.

A plane from the Australian port of Perth spotted the boat, and communicated with her for about 20 hours. Then she was picked up by a French ship that took her to the island of Reunion near Madagascar.

The world record for a solo cruise around the world was made by Australian Jessica Watson, 16, later in 2010.

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