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Old 14-06-2010, 01:44   #331
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~~~~~
I've looked at this debate from every frame of mind very deeply and I still can't see why it would be foolish for the parents to let their kid embark on this journey if they truly believed that she was well trained—~~~~.
I'm thinking they might have sought a second, third, fourth etc opinion.
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Old 14-06-2010, 02:30   #332
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If it's acceptable for parents to raise their children and "plant the seed" very young that they should join the military, what makes them any different than the Sunderland's supporting and encouraging their children to follow their dreams which are of equal levels of risk.

I should also note that I've seen far too many kids from the hood in my days who were thrown into the military because their parents didn't give two cusses about them. They let them roam the streets, do drugs, and get involved with gangs because they didn't want anything to do with raising them. These, my friend, are the parents who should be pursued for child abuse.
Everyone might think the thread is getting a bit bizarre talking about kids and the military, but I actually used the same argument to defend Jessica Watson. It was Anzac Day 2010 and this elderly gent at Coffs Harbour started a conversation with me about how irresponsible it was to send a young girl sailing around the world. He was obviously the kind of person who had no experience with the sea and basically admitted to getting sick in the bathtub.

My response was that it is Anzac Day a number of 16 year olds lied about their age to be at the same battle and even die for their country. Then in today’s messed up world Jessica is a role model for all those kids who had nothing else to look forward too other than an adolescence playing computer games and taking illicit drugs. The elderly fellow actually nodded in agreement.
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Old 14-06-2010, 03:08   #333
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Anyhow the idea of saving it is hopelessly naive I think (....) I sincerely hope they are going to reimburse all those donations when the plan comes to nothing.
Well it seems they agree with me! They've closed the www.savewildeye.com donations site and put up the message "We have exhausted all efforts to locate and retrieve Wild Eyes. Thank you to everyone who has a heart to help Abby in this way. Donors will be contacted about a refund."
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Old 14-06-2010, 03:40   #334
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"Forced" by who or what? Don't we have enough government in our lives already?
The EPIRB system is monitored,paid for and responded to by the government. If you use this "insurance" you are asking the government - the tax payers to get you out of trouble.

This is not a bad thing and plenty of people on the ocean, such as maritime workers, or others in transit deserve so sort of support.

Years ago I was involved in the communications involving a rescue in the Atlantic. This involved many flights by the CG to drop pumps to a small vessel taking on water. After many drops from 6 or 7 flights... I can't even recall now, one finally was retrieved and worked and they limped into port in the Caribbean. But this vessel was not seaworthy and never should have gone offshore. So the efforts to assist this couple in their leaky wood boat jeopardized scores of people who flew out to help them. This is simply an act of selfishness and shows a lack of responsibility.

Abby's effort... her parents and sponsors while it enabled a courageous and talented young sailor to attempt a challenge put OTHERS at risk. If you do that YOU pay the insurance. These people were clever enough to engineer the boat and so forth, but not clever enough to engineer the risk factors so that others would not pay the price.

So if you take the risk you pay the price if you use international rescue for hair brained challenges. And if that means working for the rest of your life to pay back the costs, so be it. Personal responsibility in this case is more than seamanship.
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Old 14-06-2010, 04:11   #335
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The EPIRB system is monitored,paid for and responded to by the government. If you use this "insurance" you are asking the government - the tax payers to get you out of trouble.

This is not a bad thing and plenty of people on the ocean, such as maritime workers, or others in transit deserve so sort of support.

Years ago I was involved in the communications involving a rescue in the Atlantic. This involved many flights by the CG to drop pumps to a small vessel taking on water. After many drops from 6 or 7 flights... I can't even recall now, one finally was retrieved and worked and they limped into port in the Caribbean. But this vessel was not seaworthy and never should have gone offshore. So the efforts to assist this couple in their leaky wood boat jeopardized scores of people who flew out to help them. This is simply an act of selfishness and shows a lack of responsibility.

Abby's effort... her parents and sponsors while it enabled a courageous and talented young sailor to attempt a challenge put OTHERS at risk. If you do that YOU pay the insurance. These people were clever enough to engineer the boat and so forth, but not clever enough to engineer the risk factors so that others would not pay the price.

So if you take the risk you pay the price if you use international rescue for hair brained challenges. And if that means working for the rest of your life to pay back the costs, so be it. Personal responsibility in this case is more than seamanship.
I guess I didn't make my argument very clear, so I'll try again. Your position above had been stated many times before, and although I don't agree with it, that's your opinion and I'm not trying to argue against it. All I was questioning was "how" are you going to enforce your statement of ...Perhaps these sponsors should be forced to bond this risk. I see no vehicle for forcing this on sailors that could not be easily circumvented. If lets say some US (because you are leaving from a US port) governmental agency mandates you put up this bond and you don't want to or can't afford it, you just go down to Mexico or Panama and leave from there. You can't police the entire ocean, and where there's a will there's a way.

Two real life examples of what I'm talking about are the recent Around in Ten race and the 13 year old kid that just climbed Everest. The Around in Ten race never came off but it looked like no US port was going to allow them to leave from their port due to the high risk so they moved the start to Bermuda or the Bahamas, I can't remember which it was. Problem solved.

The 13 year climbed from the more difficult North side (China) instead of the South (Nepal), because Nepal has an age limit but China doesn't. Again, problem solved.
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Old 14-06-2010, 04:41   #336
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My observation is that this thread is a debate between those who believe that Abby Sunderland was being couragous, adventurous and inspirational in trying to be the youngest person to sail non-stop and un-assisted around the world vs. those who believe that she was being foolish, money-grubbing and publicity seeking for doing the same.

I think both sides have missed the fact that their positions are not mutually exclusive.
And that those who disapprove would necessarily legislate against such stupidity.
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Old 14-06-2010, 04:50   #337
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The rest of us when we travel have to take out travel insurance or else we are on our own if anything happens. Why should an adventurer be any different and why should the taxpayer have to foot the bill, and for a foreigner? Adventurers should be required to take out insurance against rescue operations or alternately sign an indemnity that they or their family will be responsible for organising rescue arrangements should they get into trouble. A nice gesture would be for Abby to repay the rescue costs from the payments she will receive when she sells her story.
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Old 14-06-2010, 08:24   #338
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Now her dad is doing a reality show; been in the works for 3 months or more. This might be a good idea for generating some cash for live-aboards or cruisers.
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Old 14-06-2010, 08:38   #339
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If you are required to bond risky ocean adventures and skirt it by leaving from a foreign port you should be liable for the cost of the rescue. By not paying the bond you assume the costs personally - self insured.

So the risk is not only to life and limb but to your bank account if you get into trouble. Insurance is shared risk and cheaper. If you avoid it you could be in debt and should be.
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Old 14-06-2010, 08:56   #340
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The topic of rescue liability is an interesting one. As an ex-pat Canadian living in LA I hear the legitimacy in both arguments as well as political rhetoric and cynicism. I remember a number of years back when some skiers went out of bounds on MT. Seymour in N Vancouver and got themselves lost in view of the city. This had just been the final straw in a bale full of similar incedences and they were charged with a 30K bill for their rescue. I think generally there is a collective sigh of relief when people are actually rescued from perilous situations, yet where do we draw the line? Is the person who throws his kayak and himself into the rapids and becomes overwhelmed by the river less or more liable for their actions as the person who watching the kayak falls into those same rapids?
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Old 14-06-2010, 10:22   #341
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I would rather throw away my epirb and take my chances than require permission from a government.
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Old 14-06-2010, 10:36   #342
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Very interesting thread, and I've actually read most of it.

I guess what bothers me is the notion of "setting a record" by being the youngest to go around. Ok with me to go if you want, but in trying to be the youngest, setting a record, we have a progression of younger and younger people sailing around the world alone...and we will know that the child doing the trip is too young when they die.

Seems kind of unnecessary...
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Old 14-06-2010, 10:58   #343
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I've looked at this debate from every frame of mind very deeply and I still can't see why it would be foolish for the parents to let their kid embark on this journey if they truly believed that she was well trained—just as parents sending their kids off to war would hope they were in recruit training.
IMO a difference between a parent who lets their kid do something with risk and actively enabling the kid to do something they otherwise could not. (if only because of the kid's financial limitations).

Not to say that the latter is an automatic no no, but IMO should have consequences for the enabler (Parent or 3rd Party). In practice those consequences would likely arrive only after something went "wrong", but IMO going wrong should not automatically mean the Parent faces censure - but they should at least be prepared to face inquiries, even if these do not result in any action.

FWIW most parents do seem to claim to have primary authority / control over their children's actions - imagine the furore if a commercial company sent a 12 yo Miley Cyrus wannabee RTW against the Parents wishes Still enabling a child to live her dream, but somehow no longer acceptable for most nor simply about the child's wishes / capabilities.

I am sure most of us don't want to live in a Society where a Parent can strap a 6 yo to a home made rocket ("Little Johnny had always dreamed of going to the moon" - we'll bury him there when we send his little Sister. after we find enough of him" ).......an exageration? for 99.99999% I am sure, but not a stretch to imagine at least someone reaching for the stars. via their kids.


I think most folks think their is a line. Just disagreement over where it is ............probably because it is not fixed in the same place for all.
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Old 14-06-2010, 11:51   #344
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IMO a difference between a parent who lets their kid do something with risk and actively enabling the kid to do something they otherwise could not. (if only because of the kid's financial limitations).

Not to say that the latter is an automatic no no, but IMO should have consequences for the enabler (Parent or 3rd Party).
I think most folks think their is a line. Just disagreement over where it is ............probably because it is not fixed in the same place for all.
Well, as a parent, I have to say there is a pretty significant "consequence" to something like letting them sail alone -- potential loss of your child! I don't know if I would allow my 16-year-old to do something like this, and hopefully won't have to make that decision down the line.
That said, my parents enabled me to do something that some might say was risky, by supporting it financially: They 'allowed' me to move across the country and go to college at a school I couldn't afford, in a city (and state) where I didn't know a soul, in a neighborhood that only 2 years earlier had been broken by race riots. In fact they didn't only "enable," they quite actively encouraged (my bedroom became a den before I even finished packing)!
So, I think you're onto it saying that the disagreement is WHERE the line should be drawn, rather than if.
As for the liability, I can live with a few of my pennies supporting rescue efforts (not in this case, just in general). But I also don't mind requirements to have EPIRB/life raft/whatever your favorite safety device is. We require safety equipment in cars, it might be a good idea if it's made mandatory for boats too.
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Old 14-06-2010, 12:12   #345
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I guess what bothers me is the notion of "setting a record" by being the youngest to go around. Ok with me to go if you want, but in trying to be the youngest, setting a record, we have a progression of younger and younger people sailing around the world alone..
A similar point might also be made about a fastest record though: it's an ephemeral record too, and as each person must be faster than the last, it may result in cutting corners, taking more chances. The only real permanent record is to be the first to do something.

Regarding Abby (and Jess and Laura) I think they have a right to follow their dreams and am against laws and regulations that prevent people doing adventurous activities etc. However this is not incompatible with also expressing dismay when such folk make unwise choices like going through the Southern Ocean in winter (assuming they're not tired of life), or are seen to be setting out with inadequate preparation and experience.

In Abby's case, I always felt she was borderline, I felt sure she was capable of sailing around the world in principle, but was inadequately prepared due to the timetable imposed by Jessica's voyage. When she reached Cape town I observed that she was in a real fix, faced with three options, none of them good (overwinter in Cape Town; go North of Australia; go South of Australia). Basically her journey plan had failed, which didn't bode well for the journey itself.

In Jessica's case I always felt that if someone could pull it off, she could. The almost unreal degree of preparation (3 years at least!), the way nothing has been left to chance, her air of relaxed maturity, everything was perfect. My only worry was that she was too perfect... was it tempting Fate?

Laura Dekker is interesting because in her case the Law did step in. However contrary to what I often hear being said, they didn't just say "No, you're too young". They commissioned an expert assessment and said "No, you're not properly prepared and must do this, this, and this first" When I found out what a few of these things were: sleep management training, first aid course, bigger boat (her original one was 8.3m (27ft), the new one is 11.5m (37ft)), I was glad the court had delayed (but not stopped) her, since she was clearly too impetuous and in need of better advice than her father seemed able to give. Although she resents being held back, I think in the end she will thank them since she will set off much better prepared, and I feel confident that she has chosen a voyage that is within her abilities: an equatorial voyage over 2 years. Unlike Abby she is not going to brave the southern ocean at any time of year, and like Jess she is sailing a tried and tested round the world cruiser (Jeanneau Gin Fizz ketch).

In the end then, I think the law can have a place, as long as it takes a constructive and not obstructive approach. If they just said no, I think that would be wrong, but to give a well-reasoned "not yet" is acceptable.

Wow, I just wrote a whole essay!!
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