Abby has been taken off Wild Eyes and is now aboard F/V Ile De La Reunion. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has released the following statement:
The rescue of 16 year old US solo sailor, Abby Sunderland, from the yacht Wild Eyes to the fishing vessel Ile De La Reunion was successfully conducted at 7:45pm AEST today - approximately 2000 nautical miles off the West Australian coast.
The rescue, coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Rescue Coordination Centre – Australia (RCC Australia), was conducted with the support of a Global Express aircraft which provided top cover during the transfer and served as a communications relay between Wild Eyes and the Ile De La Reunion. The crew of the Ile De La Reunion conducted the rescue with a boat launched from the fishing vessel.
RCC Australia has notified Ms Sunderland’s family of the successful rescue. Arrangements to land Ms Sunderland will now be negotiated with the three ships that have responded to the distress situation.
International Maritime Organization guidelines indicate that such arrangements should avoid disruption to commercial shipping as far as possible. Since the fishing vessel would suffer a significant commercial penalty from leaving the fishing grounds, it is possible that Ms Sunderland will be transferred to one of the other two ships. One ship is bound for Australia and the other would likely return to its home port at La Reunion.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority wishes to acknowledge the cooperation of operators and authorities, both national and international, that have worked together to successfully conduct this rescue - these include Maritime RCC La Reunion, Qantas, WA Police, Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia, Defence and the three ships which are responding.
To watch a video of an interview with Abby's family, click here.
BoaterMouth link: here