Teen Sailor May Be Lost at Sea
16-Year-Old loses radar, satellite phone contact
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2010 2:41 PM CDT
In this Jan. 23, 2010 file photo Abby Sunderland, left, 16, gets a hug from friend Casey Nash, right, before leaving for her world record attempting solo journey around the world from the Del Rey Yacht...   (AP Photo/Richard Hartog)
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(Newser) – The family of a 16-year-old girl attempting to circumnavigate the globe alone in a sailboat fears for their daughter's life after she lost contact while being buffeted by 25-foot waves. Abby Sunderland activated two emergency beacons around 6am this morning, shortly after losing reception on her satellite telephone. Sunderland told an engineer on her support team that she'd had her sail knocked into the water by heavy winds twice during the night.

The engineer, Jeff Casher, tells ABC News that one of those "knock down" threw the radar unit off the boat. Sunderland may be lost, but her boat still floats—a final emergency beacon that activates when it touches water has not activated. She is thought to be somewhere about 500 miles north of the Antarctic Islands.