Abby Sunderland's Sailboat In Doomed Record Attempt Is Found Off Australia

Sunderland was rescued from rough seas

United States girl Abby Sunderland was aged 16 in 2010 when she attempted to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe, but a storm crippled her vessel.

A 40-foot sailboat abandoned more than eight years ago in the Indian Ocean, after the dramatic rescue of its 16-year-old USA captain, has been discovered adrift off South Australia's Kangaroo Island.

An overturned boat found near Kangaroo Island, off the South Australian coast, has been identified as Wild Eyes, teenager sailor Abby Sunderland's yacht which was abandoned in 2010.

"It brought back memories - good and not so good - but it was neat to see it after so long", Sunderland said in a statement.

The capsized sailboat was noticed by a tuna-spotting plane roughly 11 miles south of Kangaroo Island, the South Australia Police said.

She was rescued by French and Australian authorities, which cost an estimated $300,000.

Abby Sunderland, then 16, looks out from her yacht, Wild Eyes, as she leaves for her world record attempting journey at the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, California. The South Australian police helicopter and two commercial fishing vessels were sent to investigate and identified the yacht.

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Wild Eyes was stripped of its equipment and left to aimlessly drift on waters in the Indian Ocean.

But she was forced to stop soon after in Mexico because of problems with her solar panels and other issues. Just one year earlier, she added, her older brother, Zac, had completed his own circumnavigation.

A plane from Perth spotted the teenager's stricken boat and made contact with her, prompting a sea rescue. Image: AAP Sunderland was rescued from rough seas on June 12, 2010.

At the time of her round-the-world attempt, Ms Sunderland's parents were criticised for allowing her to go on the voyage.

In response to critics, Sunderland noted that she'd been sailing for years - and that she had navigated through the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and rounded both South America and Africa, before weather ruined her boat.

After her record attempt, Sunderland was the subject of a documentary film and a book.

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