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Californian sailor welcomes discovery of yacht in Australia

January 3, 2019

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Californian solo sailor Abby Sunderland says her “heart skipped a beat” with news that the yacht she abandoned in the remote Indian Ocean in 2010 during an ill-fated round-the-world attempt has been found off the Australian coast.

South Australia Police confirmed Wednesday that a barnacle-encrusted, upturned hull found drifting south of Kangaroo Island on Monday was Sunderland’s sloop Wild Eyes.

Sunderland was 16 and attempting to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone and unassisted when her yacht capsized and lost its mast in mountainous seas between Africa and Australia on June 10, 2010. She was rescued two days later by a French trawler.

The now 25-year-old on Thursday described seeing reports of the boat’s discovery as “very emotional.”

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