Is anyone else incensed by the Abby Sunderland story? She is the young woman who attempted to circumnavigate the globe, solo, and non-stop. Caught in high seas in the Indian Ocean, she lost her mainsail and required rescuing. At age 16, she hoped to be the youngest to attempt this feat. Her brother, Zac, had already completed his globe-trotting trip and was selling his e-story, and other items, on his website.
It seems the family had shopped around for a reality series and had big money in sponsors. Wild Eyes was said to be tricked out with more than $400,000 in gear, while being touted as only a $90,000 boat. Does this smell to anyone, other than myself? The parents home-school all seven of their children, with another on the way. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, unless you are raising children to be daredevils in order to make a living. Which seems very much a possibility with this family. Son Zac is already planning his next adventure - a motorcycle trip from the furthest northern point of North America to the most southern point of South America.
It is said the rescue costs to rescue young Abby could top one million dollars. Not to mention the lives at risk to go out into 40-foot seas to find her. (One captain fell overboard during the rescue.) Every year people climb mountains, sail the oceans, and do other dangerous deeds to outdo and break records. Hundreds of people put their lives at risk to rescue them, millions of tax dollars are spent, and yet there seems to be a never-ending supply of people willing to risk their lives, and others, to do what they want to do. Especially if it might lead to fame and glory, not to mention, money. Australia has current legislation in the works to pass on these costs. Which is only fair. If you want to attempt a dangerous and costly adventure, you should share in the liability if things turn sour.
Especially egregious are parents willing to risk the lives of their children. Anyone remember the little child killed trying to fly a plane at eight years old? It's really about the parent's ego, their desire to have their children accomplish what they could not. You see it in children's sports, and now with reality television you see it in the Indian Ocean during winter. They will tell you it is their child that wants to do the daring deed, but from a developmental point of view - that's BS! Young children do not have the capacity for understanding the risk. Period. That's why they need their parents. Adolescent's main developmental goal is social - and that's where most of their time and energy is directed, not wanting to spend weeks alone at sea in foul weather. In my opinion, Abby's parents should be arrested for child exploitation, not planning their next caper.