twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Should Abby's Parents Have Let Her Sail?

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

When Abby Sunderland went missing at sea yesterday, the blogosphere started buzzing with questions ... and judgment (especially for Abby's parents).

Abby Sunderland

Should Abby's parents have let their 16-year-old daughter sail solo in the first place?

When we spoke with Abby's mom earlier this year, she said, "I ... think every kid is different, and every parent is different. Some are more prone to trouble than others. But Abby is a good kid, and I trust her completely. I understand that need to protect, but you've got to let go at a certain point."

Abby's story has drawn comparisons to that of Jessica Dubroff, the 7-year-old pilot trainee who died attempting to become the youngest person to fly an airplane across the United States.

Are we pushing our kids too far, too fast?



next: Is Divorce Contagious?
61 comments so far | Post a comment now
Joanne June 15, 2010, 12:56 PM

I cannot believe that her parents even live in this century. A 16 year old girl-no less all by herself in the middle of the ocean? OMG. Yeah, I know she’s mature and is an expert sailor and all, but that is not the point. The problem does not lie with Abby. The problem lies with the people that are out there WITH HER. The “people” that she could come up against out there. COME ON!!! To me this is so blatantly obvious. Just to name a few. Pirates, drug smugglers, random people running from the law. I could go on and on. N ot to mention, sick and disturbed people who KNOW she is alone and purposely want to find her and harm her. Do her parents ever watch the news or read the newspaper??? This little girl can be as skilled and intelligent as a seasoned boat commander, but she is NO MATCH for the creepy people who j ust happened to be crossing her path at any given time. My God. I have been a mom for 33 years and am also a grandmother. I would NEVER ever allow my 16 year old daughter to venture out like that all by herself. Especially in thisday and age, or at any time. I can only sum this up with one word. Ignorance. Yep, letting her assert her skills and independence is one thing, but this is so absurd. I truly think the parents mentality is the issue here. Unbelievable.

Erica June 15, 2010, 2:13 PM

Well said Tristian’s Mom. Even the most hardcore sailors know and respect the dangers of the ocean. And it’s been that way for thousands of years. Ever hear of the Perfect Storm? That happened to a whole team of hardcore fisherman. Don’t want to think what could have happened to her if she had run into pirates. What would they have thought had they saw a young blond American girl all alone at sea? The girl was expecting to run into a storm as if it was nothing, but picked the wrong time of year for that part of the world. I think her arrogance got to her. She saw that other young kids were breaking records and so set off at the worst time to beat them.

julie garrettson June 15, 2010, 2:19 PM

Would I let my 16 year old girl sail around the world by herself? Absolutely not!!!!!!!! I wouldn’t let my 16 year old girl go to the grocery store after 10pm!!!! Ask her! She’s 32 now!!!!

Joe June 15, 2010, 3:55 PM

She’s an experienced sailor, well qualified for the task. What was stupid wasn’t sending her on a solo circumnavigation at age 16, it was sending her into the southern ocean in winter. What were they thinking?

renee June 15, 2010, 3:59 PM

i think she was to young in the middle of no where. Anything could have happen and no one would be there to help. Being a parent of 4 i do not let my kids leave the front yard. I don’t understand why they would let ther daughter do that

kdtlive June 15, 2010, 6:00 PM

WOW! WHY DOES THIS DAY AND TIME OF THE WAY KIDS HAVE CHANGED IN THE LAST 20 YEARS HAS TO DO WITH HOW FAR SHOULD WE TRUST OUR KIDS. JUST BECAUSE YU CAN AFFORD TO BUY THEM BIG OR SMALL THINGS , DOESNT MEAN OK, YOU CAN DO WHAT EVER YOU WANT AT 16 YEARS OLD. I TOO HAVE A 16YEAR OLD, BUT IF HE EVEN GETS A CAR NEW OR USED, HE SURELY WANT BE GOING OUT OF TOWN OR IN TOWN BY HIMSELF. NOR WITH HIS FRIENDS AS COMPANY. HE WILL BE AT SCHOOL, WORK, A SCHOOL EVENT, AND BACK HOME AT A DESCENT TIME. NOT TWO DAYS LATER OR ALL WEEKEND. JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE CHILD IS OK TO DO AS THEY PLEASE AND WHEN THE PLEASE. ARE THERE NOT ANY RULES IN THERE HOME, OTHER THAN THEY TRUST HER? LOOKS LIKE THAT ALL SHE HAD TO DO WAS EARN THE TRUST AND SHE AS FREE DO WHAT SHE PLEASE, WHEN SHE PLEASE, ALL BY HERSELF. WELL AT LEAST UNTIL SOMETHING GOES WRONG, THEN YOU STOP AND SEE WHATS WHAT. IT’S A GOOD THING IF THEY ARE SMART AND CAN HANDLE THEMSELVES IN THE WORLD. BUT LET THEM REACH 18YRS BEFORE YOU LET THEM GO THAT MUCH.AT 16 NEVER ALONE..

adrienne zedella June 15, 2010, 6:47 PM

attention seeking money hungry idiots. all of them.

sal williams June 15, 2010, 8:25 PM

If you have never sailed, not powered, SAILED, you do not realize how much skill is required and how much danger is ever present. As a licensed captain of 200 ton power vessels and a world cruising sailor of sailboats, I feel well qualified to say that her parents are daft. Sailing is not a talent, you don’t just pick up on it like picking out a tune on a guitar or piano. You must be able to read the weather and handle rough seas, handle situations when your equipment breaks or malfunctions. These are SKILLS which can only be honed over time, in a variety of environments.A sixteen year old (even if she is fearless genius) is no match for Mother Ocean who can be very unforgiving. Her parents must be publicity hounds! The idea that her father said he’d let her do it again is indictment enough to put him on the poor parenting list. We are talking a vast ocean with shipping lanes, monsoons in the SUMMER and water spouts to name just 3 dangers to an inexperienced sailor in a strange ocean. I’d like to see her sailing log. Her father is the worst. I’m glad they saved her! Her parents used her and risked her life for 15 minutes of fame and a book deal.

cg June 16, 2010, 8:39 AM

I personally do not think that they should have let her sail. I think as parents it was irresponsibe. As parents I believe they should not have been so permissive. They are fortunate that in this instance they are able to retrieve their precious child and still be a family. It could have ended quite differently- with them being unsuccessful at recovering her and being left with having to now plan a memorial in her memory,with the loss so great that it has now shattered their once happy family.

Concerned parent June 16, 2010, 10:27 AM

I am concerned esp. upon hearing the parents have a lot to gain financially from their minor child’s dangerous sport. It seems a bit wrong to risk a young life just because they think they can do it. Obviously she couldn’t.

Grynne June 16, 2010, 2:21 PM

I had the privilege of growing up near Annapolis MD and having the pleasure of learning to sail from racing professionals. At 16 I went on a 2 week sailing trip with 9 classmates and our instructor. 24 years later I went out by myself on a one week trip in the Caribbean - something I had dreamed of doing ever since that first trip. I can tell you I felt 16 all over again and it was the most incredible experience ever. I commend the parents who raised a family of teenagers with the courage, confidence and skill level to tackle a dream of that magnitude at 16. Imagine what they will accomplish during the rest of their lives! She had all the safeguards in place to be rescued in case of trouble and the wherewithall to not panic when trouble did happpen. I hope to see her out there again and succeeding this time.

happylady555 June 21, 2010, 4:54 PM

I could not inmagen a parent letting thier childern under the age of 16 doing anything like this by themselfs,I would let them go but I sure would be close behine in case something would go wrong.god bless you,& The family the lord took home to be with him.I have no kids but would never let one of my go alone anywhere under the age of 16.

popoo June 22, 2010, 7:42 PM

i like michael jackson… poo

download full movies September 11, 2010, 8:30 PM

Thanks to your info, I am going to be checking in..thanks

Windows Vista Themes October 18, 2010, 12:32 PM

@chels I know what you mean, its hard to find good help these days. People now days just don’t have the work ethic they used to have. I mean consider whoever wrote this post, they must have been working hard to write that good and it took a good bit of their time I am sure. I work with people who couldn’t write like this if they tried, and getting them to try is hard enough as it is.

Big Pete October 21, 2010, 1:57 PM

The parents are not at fault. She grew up sailing and had more experience doing that than most kids have driving before they drive across country on road trips. Her trip was a little longer. As for pirates and such…there are more dangers letting your children walk to school. At that age, you are done raising them. The remainder time spent is letting them experience life with a safety net until they are on their own. As for the euipment malfunctioning as someone stated…she had a sextant with her in just such a case. Things happen whether she was by herself or with someone else and if she was younger or older. I say good for her! I only wish I had a daughter like her.

Blackjack December 31, 2010, 5:15 PM

Solid post - and solid domain by the way!

Hoteles Ciudad de Panama January 2, 2011, 7:13 AM

Hello, extraordinary job, if I wasn’t so bogged down with my course work I read your total site. I really have to say thanks!

Rodelag January 2, 2011, 11:57 PM

I usually don’t usually post on many SEO blogs, nevertheless I just has to say thank you for Should Abby’s Parents Have Let Her Sail? | momlogic.com… keep up the amazing work. Ok regrettably its time to get to school.

Walton Draheim January 3, 2011, 11:51 AM

Thanks for the interesting read! Happy New Year and keep up the great work in 2011!


Back to top >>
advertisement