Sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland set out to sail around the world in 2010. A successful voyage would’ve made her the youngest person to ever do it, but Mother Nature had other plans. Authorities found her right away, but it would take eight years to find her abandoned yacht.
Abby Sunderland had plenty of inspiration for her proposed trip to circumnavigate the world in her yacht. The then-teenager’s older brother, Zac, was the first person under 18 to have ever made the journey, a trek he completed on July 16, 2009. And the Sunderland family – helmed by parents Marianne and Laurence – spent lots of time sailing together, too.
In fact, Abby’s father gave her some tough lessons to prepare her for her own around-the-world journey, a plan she came up with when she was just 13. He described one of their training days to ABC News. “It was a particularly rough day,” Laurence recalled. “Her boat was rocking from gunnel to gunnel.”