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Teen sailor on dry land

2010-06-30 05:40:04 GMT2010-06-30 13:40:04 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

The teen sailor who had wanted to become the youngest person to sail around the world, describes when a rogue wave dashed her hopes. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

Teen sailor Abby Sunderland returns home. The 16-year-old who had wanted to become the youngest person to sail around the world had her hopes dashed earlier this month when a "rogue wave'' crippled her boat in the Indian Ocean. She spent three days adrift before being rescued by a fishing-boat crew.

At a news conference in Los Angeles she spoke about her rescue.

"I was incredibly surprised; out where I was I did not expect to see a plane. I expected to maybe see a ship and eventually. Even that I expected it take days even weeks to get to me. So, I saw the plane and there was a little bit of disbelief, it was a rescue plane obviously since it was flying so low. I had no idea why it was so far out, what is was doing, It was kind of a mixture of disbelief and excitement to know that they knew I was there and they were looking for me."

She also spoke about what happened when a rogue wave hit her boat.

"I knew what to do, it rolled and I went up to check the damage, make sure the mast was not going to bash a whole through the hull. I did everything that I knew I was supposed to do, I worked to try and get myself and the boat to land without having to set off my eperps. Once I realized that was not going to be happening I sent them off."

Since news of her mishap at sea broke, Sunderland's parents have come under some criticism for allowing the teen to embark on such a voyage.

"To be honest it is extremely hurtful, and it can be sad to see some of it. Some of it I can't believe they would say something like that to anybody. Luckily, since I have been on ships I really haven't been able to see a lot of it. But, of course, some does come across. I make an effort not to read a lot of stuff, I read articles, but I do not go into the comments of other people. I know what happened and that is enough for me."

As for her immediate plans, she says she is looking forward to getting back to school and someday hopes to revisit her dreams of sailing solo around the world.

Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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