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Bonnie Says: Sailor Abby Sunderland Admits She Escaped Death By Seconds

Wed, June 30, 2010 5:09pm EDT by 3 Comments


Abby Sunderland is thankfully back safely, but in her Today Show interview on Tues. June 30, She admitted she was lucky not to have been thrown into the ocean, where she would possibly have drowned.

She recounted that when a huge 30-foot rough wave hit her sailboat in a remote area of the Indian Ocean, that it rolled all the way around. Fortunately, she was inside the boat’s cabin at that moment. “I was about to go outside,” she admitted. “Luckily, I wasn’t quite out there yet, so I just got thrown across the cabin, I was on the roof and water was pouring in everywhere.”

Abby also confessed to the Today Show’s Meredith Vieira that she hit her head “kind of hard and I did black out for a second.”

In other words — despite Abby’s continued bravado about her global solo sail — she missed being thrown into a story Indian Ocean by mere seconds, and she luckily escaped having a major concussion. If she’d ended up in the ocean, in storm conditions — no doubt she would have drowned.

Abby’s father Laurence, who appeared with her on the show, refused to admit that when his daughter sent up a distress signal and was incommunicato for 20 hours, that he ever entertained thoughts that he had a mistake in allowing her to go. “Maybe, I don’t know,” was all he would reply to Vieira. “A lot of thoughts go through your head in that situation.”

Abby also confessed that she knew she was adrift, after her mast broke, in an area of the Indian Ocean “that was very hard to get to. I wasn’t sure when anyone would come or if they would come.”

The Sunderlands were criticized this morning in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times for not packing a spare mast on their daughter’s sailboat. Sean Dolan, a Merchant Marine, who wrote the post describes Abby’s solo sail as a “venture well into the realm of irresponsible recklessness.”

Abby’s father insisted that, that criticism was unfair because “it comes from people who didn’t know that boat.” Nevertheless, Ted Caloroso, the cinematographer who was working with the Sunderland family to sell a reality show that would have covered Abby’s journey told that he pulled out of the project because of concerns about the safety and preparedness of Abby’s boat.

Abby’s dad contended in his Today Show interview that he cut ties with Ted’s company, Magnetic Entertainment, because “they were unsuccessful,” however confirmed that there was a network interest in the show until Magnetic and a partner, Reveille, pulled out due to safety issues.

For now, Abby seems like many 16-year-olds unable to fully understand the level of danger she was placed in. “I’d definitely do it again,” she told Vieira.

Well, let’s just hope you don’t! You may not be so lucky next time!

<h3>–Bonnie Fuller</h3>


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