Missing girl sailor Laura Dekker found safe in Antilles

Fourteen-year old captain. The ban on a single voyage around the world brought a young Dutch women Laura Dekker to escape from the house .

For three days the police searched the Netherlands missing 14-year-old girl. In a quiet country disappearance of any child - and so PE on a national scale, and if it is about a girl who was going to go it alone in world travel, anxiety of parents and the police are no limits. However, Laura Dekker pretty soon find - in the Caribbean. Apparently, the girl ran away from home, because she was extremely upset by the decision of the court, forbade her to go to tour around the world.

Laura Decker was born in the family of a sailor on board the yacht, which took place at a time off the coast of New Zealand. The first four years of life were on board. Her father, whose name is Dick Dekker, made the first single voyage, when he was twelve years old, and the girl learned to operate a boat at six. After her parents divorced, and Laura continued to live with her father and her sister followed her mother. Dick Decker encouraged enthusiasm daughters to sailing, so when at the age of 13 years, she said that dreams of becoming the youngest traveler, which will encircle the globe in a yacht alone, Decker invited Laura to test her strength.

Laura Dekker Found "safe and sound".

A Dutch teenager barred from sailing solo around the world because of her age has been found on a Caribbean island after disappearing, police say.

Laura Dekker, 14, is in police custody on the Dutch Antilles island of St Maarten, three days after relatives in the Netherlands reported her missing.

A Dutch police spokesman said the girl had been found "safe and sound".

Miss Dekker has been under supervision since a court blocked her bid to be the youngest person to sail the globe solo.
Police said earlier they did not suspect any crime had been committed.

The court order in the city of Utrecht placed Miss Dekker under state supervision, while living with her father, until the end of her school year in July 2010.

After she vanished on Friday, her boat was found moored at its berth and she appears to have left her father's home on her own.

An unconfirmed Dutch newspaper report said she had withdrawn 3,500 euros ($5,000) from her bank account.


Utrecht police spokesman Bernhard Jens said the girl had been recognised by a woman living on the island who had been alerted to her disappearance by media coverage.
"We have lots more questions," he told AFP news agency.

"When did she leave the Netherlands? Why? How did she get to St Maarten? Did somebody help her and was she alone?"

At the time of the much-publicised court ruling in October, Miss Dekker's spokeswoman said she was disappointed but that the teenager could still set the record if she were to sail next year.

Miss Dekker is a seasoned sailor who was born on a yacht off the coast of New Zealand during a seven-year world trip.

She had a yacht by the age of six and began sailing solo when she was 10.

Her father, Dick Dekker, supports her attempt at the record, while her mother has expressed some concerns.

Miss Dekker had planned to spend about two years aboard her 8m (26ft) boat, Guppy, to break the record set in August by a 17-year-old UK boy.

Mike Perham tackled 50ft waves, gale force winds and technical problems during the 45,000-km (28,000-mile) circumnavigation, which took him nine months.

UPDATE: 4 AUG 2010
14-year-old Dutch sailor girl heads out to sea

She’s not afraid of pirates. She’s packed plenty of school books. And she’s going to miss her family and her dog.

Fourteen-year-old Laura Dekker hopped onto her boat Wednesday and sailed off from the Netherlands hoping to become the youngest person to make a solo voyage around the world.

About 100 supporters waved as Laura and her father Dick left the southern Dutch harbor of Den Osse in her 38-foot (11.5-meter) yacht Guppy, bound for Portugal where she plans to leave her father and begin her circumnavigation attempt.

Last week, Laura won a legal battle when a court released her from the guardianship of Dutch child protection agencies. They had blocked her initial plan to depart at age 13 over fears for her safety and psychological health during the trip, which will likely take around a year.

‘I can be sailing now, and that’s great!’ she told reporters Wednesday, sporting a skull-emblazoned black T-shirt.

Laura hoisted the black Jolly Roger-like flag of The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society above her red twin-masted ketch — the same image she wore on her shirt — before sailing out.

Laura, who was born on a yacht off the coast of New Zealand, has been working to counter objections to her voyage since the authorities stepped in

UPDATE: 21 AUG 2010

Dutch teen sets sail in secrecy on solo world trip

A 14-year-old Dutch sailor departed in secrecy from Portugal Saturday on her quest to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, avoiding the media because her manager said she didn’t want the attention.

Laura Dekker said goodbye to her father and friends at an undisclosed Portuguese port enroute to Spain’s Canary Islands or Portugal’s Madeira Island despite almost windless conditions in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal, according to manager Peter Klarenbeek.

Klarenbeek said the girl was in good spirits as she started sailing her 38-foot (11.5-meter) ship ‘Guppy’ on a trip expected to last a year or more. The attempt has been criticized by Dutch child protection authorities who questioned the wisdom of a child risking the world’s oceans alone.

‘She said goodbye to her father and friends and she sailed away into the horizon,’ Holland’s MasMedia company, which has exclusive TV rights to film her voyage, said in a statement.

Laura had been scheduled to depart from Portimao, and photographers and television crews from around the world were at the resort in southwestern Portugal but ended up with no images of the departure. MasMedia is documenting the trip with remote cameras mounted on Laura’s yacht and offered to sell the footage to anyone who is interested starting on Sunday.

The girl’s website features links titled ‘My Coordinates’ and ‘Where is Laura,’ but neither was working Saturday, and a porthole-shaped counter of the days of her voyage stood at zero.

One of the voyage’s sponsors, Ferry Dammers, showed up in Portimao with a banner to display on her boat as it left — but he ended up hanging around with the media crowd and never got to mount his banner on the ‘Guppy.’

‘I am disappointed, I have the banner here but when I spoke to Klarenbeek he informed me Laura had already set off on her journey,’ said Dammers, whose company supplied Laura with wax for the hull of her sailboat.

A Dutch court last month released Laura from the guardianship of Dutch child protection agencies who had tried to block her voyage because of fears about her safety and psychological health.

Marijke Schaaphok, Masmedia’s director, defended the girl’s push to sail around the world, saying Laura is mature for her age and has proven that she can sail her yacht without help from anyone else after passing a maritime exam in the Netherlands for a vessel of her boat’s size.

She also insisted that Laura is uniquely qualified for the ambitious sea venture because she grew up with her father on a boat, and ‘is completely different from a normal 14-year-old girl.’ Schaaphok said.

‘She’s very wise and a little bit impatient, but she’s a very nice girl and she knows exactly what she wants,’ Schaaphok said.

Laura’s first port of call will be picked based on wind conditions, and her departure came after she took numerous steps to reduce objections to the voyage — including the purchase of a bigger, sturdier boat than the one she originally planned to use, and courses in first aid and coping with sleep deprivation.

She also used as evidence her successful solo trip across the North Sea to England.

In the end, the Dutch court ruled that her preparations were adequate and it was up to her divorced parents to decide whether to let her make the attempt.

The trip comes just two months after American Abby Sunderland, age 16, had to be rescued in a remote section of the Indian Ocean during an attempt to circle the globe. Earlier this year, Australian Jessica Watson, completed a 210-day voyage at age 16.

But while Watson remained at sea nonstop, Laura plans to stop at dozens of ports and may even return home to catch up on her studies before resuming her trip.

If Laura completes the voyage, any record she claims would be unofficial and likely to be challenged. The Guinness’ World Records and the World Sailing Speed Record Council have decided they will no longer recognize records for ‘youngest’ sailors to avoid encouraging dangerous attempts.

UPDATE: 21 JAN 2012

16-year-old Dutch became the youngest

January 21, 2012 Laura Dekker completed the round trip on the yacht "Guppy" and entered the history of navigation as the youngest girl sailor. Laura landed on the shores of the Caribbean island of St. Maarten and while resting and recovering from his sea adventures.


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