In case you haven't been following the news, Abby Sunderland (16) sailed from California on 23 January 2010 to circumnavigate the globe in the yacht Wild Eyes. At approximately 1.00 a.m. (Australian Eastern Standard Time) Friday 11 June the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) detected transmissions from two distress beacons registered to Wild Eyes. The detections are currently in position 40 48 South 74 58 East, approximately 2033 nautical miles west south west from Perth in the central southern Indian Ocean. There are currently no communications with Wild Eyes.
The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at La Reunion, operated by France, is coordinating the search & rescue response overall as Wild Eyes is in La Reunion's search and rescue region. Australia offered to assist if required.
La Reunion has requested air search assistance to establish the situation on scene, recognising that the remoteness of the location would delay any ship response. The most rapid means to get an aircraft on scene is to send a QANTAS A-330 Airbus passenger aircraft from Perth. The aircraft should be on scene mid-afternoon Friday 11 June. The aircraft mission will be to attempt to communicate with Ms Sunderland from high level and, if necessary, to descend and make visual contact to assess the circumstances.
La Reunion is coordinating three seaborne responses. A fishing vessel can be on scene on Saturday afternoon, a French Fisheries Patrol vessel can be on scene on Sunday morning, and an offshore support vessel can be there on Sunday evening. Each of the three vessels should be capable of conducting a rescue, subject to prevailing weather conditions.
The A-330 Airbus spotted Abby and here is what they saw - everything on deck gone! Looks like she will get a ride home starting Saturday afternoon...