Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Three countries in Search and Rescue for Abby Sunderland

by Nancy Knudsen on 11 Jun 2010
Approximate last known position of Abby Sunderland .. .
Three countries are searching for ways to assist Abby Sunderland who was trying to become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the world. Her manual EPIRB and personal locator beacons have activated in the Southern Ocean. The American, French and Australian Search and Rescue authorities are cooperating to find the closest ships to Abby's last known location.

Australian Search and Rescue authorities have already launched an aircraft heading to her last known position.

As Abby's automatic, water-activated EPIRB has not sounded an alarm as yet, this indicates that the EPIRB has not been submerged and Wild Eyes is still afloat. As long as this automatic EPIRB is operative and not damaged, this points to the possibility that Abby has been hurt or that the boat is sufficiently damaged in some way that she can no longer sail it. It is not at all likely that Abby has gone overboard as reported in some of the world's press, as she would have been unable to activate her alarm. One of the alarms was attached to her survival suit, normally used when in the water or in a life raft.

Last know position was reported as Latitude -34.885931, Longitude 74.53125

Latest word from Team Abby is that the boat is drifting backwards at around 1 knot. This indicates that no sails are active and that the yacht is not in an upright position, as it would be drifting at a faster rate in a normal sailing position without sails. If the keel has snapped off, then there would be a good air pocket under the yacht for Abby to wait for rescue.

Abby was 20 days into her leg from Capetown to Cape Leeuwin on the south west tip of Australia, and her last known position was to the north east of the Kerguelen Archipelago, owned by France. A French fishing vessel from the Archipelago has been diverted to her position, but is not expected to arrive for many hours.

Abby's team always knew that the section of water she must pass through after passing the Kerguelens was to be a rough one, as between 80 and 100E, tropical storms moving south easterly can sometimes merge with a cold front, causing a monster low.

Before the alarms went off, Abby had been knocked down several times in the latest systems passing over her. The forecast winds of 60 knots had eventuated, but the winds had subsided to around 35 knots.

A Qantas airbus is to overfly the location to try to make contact via VHF radio or satellite phone.

Her family, brother Zac, father Lawrence and mother Julianne, have been typically cool about the situation, with these assurances: 'Abby has all of the equipment on board to survive a crisis situation like this. She has a dry suit, survival suit, life raft, and ditch bag with emergency supplies. If she can keep warm and hang on, help will be there as soon as possible.

'Wild Eyes is designed for travel in the Southern Ocean and is equipped with 5 air-tight bulkheads to keep her buoyant in the event of major hull damage. It is built to Category 0 standards and is designed to self-right in the event of capsize.'

The boat is an Open 40, a 12.9 metre racing boat, specifically designed for single-handed sailing in the Southern Ocean. It was chosen by Abby and her advisers because 'it has the benefit of both speed and safety necessary to navigate the conditions that Abby will experience.'

Southern Spars - 100Barz Optics - FloatersInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr