Teenage solo sailor's parents offer no apology

10:32, June 12, 2010      

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The dismasted yacht "Wild Eyes", sailed by U.S. teenaged sailor Abby Sunderland, is pictured from a search and rescue plane in the Australian search and rescue region of the Indian Ocean in this June 11, 2010 handout. The 16-year-old California girl trying to sail solo around the world is safe and well after a massive search and rescue was launched in the Indian Ocean when she triggered distress signals, her parents and Australian authorities said Friday. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Abby Sunderland’s parents refuse to apologize for letting their 16-year-old daughter to sail by herself around the world, media reports Friday.

Abby Sunderland, who was previously reported missing, was found alive and well in her disabled boat.

Her parents, Laurence and Marianne Sunderland, have been facing criticism of why they allowed their daughter to do so.

"If people are looking at age, they're looking at the wrong thing here," Laurence Sunderland told reporters Friday outside the family's home in Thousand Oaks.

"Age is not a criteria. Abby is a fine sailor," he continued. "I've never advocated this for 16-year-olds. I've advocated this for experienced sailors."

Searchers contacted the 16-year-old girl sailor Thursday, who said that she was inside the boat and doing fine with at least two weeks worth of food. Searchers aboard an Airbus A330 spotted Abby Sunderland's boat in an upright position as weather conditions eased the turbulent waters of the Indian Ocean, according to msnbc.com reports. A ship has sailed to rescue the girl.



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