Abby Sunderland boat found 8 years later.
A 40-foot sailboat abandoned more than eight years ago in the Indian Ocean, after the dramatic rescue of its 16-year-old U.S. captain, has been discovered adrift off South Australia’s Kangaroo Island.
Wild Eyes, its hull encrusted with barnacles, had last been piloted by Abby Sunderland, who was attempting to become the youngest person to solo-sail around the world.
But on June 10, 2010, while struggling in a ferocious storm hundreds of miles from land, Sunderland activated two emergency beacons after a giant wave rolled her vessel, destroying its mast and communications equipment.
Wild Eyes was spotted 20 hours later by the crew of an Australian patrol aircraft. Sunderland, from Thousand Oaks, Calif., was rescued two days later by the crew of a French fishing vessel. The location was so remote that Wild Eyes was abandoned.
Abby’s plight and the international rescue effort had generated headlines around the world.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Wild Eyes was discovered Monday, New Year’s Eve, at about 12:30 p.m.
Abby’s attempt to sail around the world began after her brother Zac had completed a successful solo-circumnavigation at the age of 17.