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Sailor Abby Sunderland Found Safe in Indian Ocean

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland was found safe on Friday in the Indian Ocean after an Australian plane flew over her boat.

The teen, who had been attempting to sail solo around the world, had sent out a distress signal after her boat encountered powerful waves on Thursday. Her parents had then lost contact with her.

The Australian plane contacted Sunderland to tell her help was on the way. A French fishing vessel is now on its way to her, and should reach her in the next 24 hours.

Marianne Sunderland, Abby's mother, told CNN that her daughter's boat was "upright, but the rigging is all down, which means she was probably rolled by a rogue wave. But she reported that she was fine. She seems to be in good spirits, but that is all we really know for sure." 

Abby's father, Laurence Sunderland, said, "It's a huge relief, obviously. There is a great deal of jubilation and elation that Abigail is safe." He added, "The severe weather conditions that she was experiencing the day before this all happened have abated. We're confident that when the fishing vessel arrives alongside that she'll have about 10 to 15 knots of wind and there will be a successful rescue."