Saturday, June 12, 2010

Teenage Sailor Safe; Send Bill To Dad

There's welcome news overnight that a French fishing vessel has now rescued a 16-year old California girl who was stranded in a  remote part of the Indian Ocean after her bid to circumnavigate the globe solo in her yacht ended in failure. 

I'm very happy that she's safe.  But like a lot of people I question her parents' decision to allow a 16 year-old girl to try something like this in the first place.  I was even more put off by her father's public defense of that decision even after this near-disaster. Laurence Sunderland said of his daughter, "In regards to a 16-year-old going on this trip, if you take the age factor out of it, you're either good enough to go on that trip or you're not," he said. "Abigail's proved herself and her ability over and beyond most people that are out there on the ocean doing similar things."

Ok.  But how's this for a retort. If parents were legally required to bear the full cost of these rescue operations, I strongly suspect we'd see far fewer teenagers circumnavigating the globe solo and trying to summit Everest at 13, regardless of whether they're "good enough."

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