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16-year-old sailor Abby Sunderland -- do the benefits outweigh the fears for adventurers like her?

June 11, 2010


The parents of 16-year-old Abby Sunderland, a sailor stranded in the Indian Ocean this week, are defending their daughter's solo 'round the world record attempt.

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Sunderland was just about halfway through her endeavor to become the youngest person to solo circumnavigate the globe, when she lost radio contact and activated emergency beacons on Thursday.

Her rescue comes on the heels of 16-year-old Jessica Watson's successful 'round the globe trip last month. Since then, record-keeping organizations stopped recognizing "youngest" pursuits because of growing controversy.

Parents of both girls have had to defend their decision to let their children attempt such a dangerous pursuit.

"Do we say that she shouldn't go out there and sail or that nobody should go out and sail because you face hard knocks and sometimes people need to be rescued? I don't think so," her father, Laurence Sunderland said. "She's proven herself capable of dealing with this."

What do you think?

Parents of Watson and Sunderland say they felt this was a major lesson for their children. Do the benefits outweigh the fears? Would you let Abby make another attempt after this? Are parents in general too fearful today or not concerned enough?

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