Dutch teen sailor returned with police escort

22nd December 2009, Comments 1 comment

Laura Dekker is due to arrive in Amsterdam early Tuesday and will be questioned by police and a representative of the child protection services.

The Hague – A 14-year-old Dutch girl barred from sailing around the world solo returned under police escort Monday from a Caribbean island where she was found after running away from home, police said.

Laura Dekker had flown out of Sint Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles accompanied by a policeman and was expected in Amsterdam early Tuesday, police told AFP.

She was spotted on the island on Sunday by a resident who had followed media coverage of her disappearance reported two days earlier from her home near the central Dutch city of Utrecht.

On her arrival in Amsterdam, Dekker would be questioned by police and a representative of the child protection services, said the police spokesman for Utrecht, Bernhard Jens.

"We are going to ask her how she went over there," he said. "The child protection services will then decide if she can go home or not."

Authorities said the teenager had not travelled to the island through a Dutch airport.

The Utrecht children's court in October prohibited Dekker from setting off on an around-the-world solo yacht trip for at least eight months, citing concerns about her safety.

It also placed the teenager -- whose father Dick Dekker supported her ambitions, but whose mother expressed doubts -- under the protection of child care officers until 1 July 2010.

A 17-year-old Briton, Mike Perham, in August became the youngest person to complete a solo voyage around the world, albeit with assistance. He spent 156 days at sea.

AFP / Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • HTD posted:

    on 22nd December 2009, 11:53:41 - Reply

    Laura Dekker's father should be required to undergo psychiatric examination for encouraging his daughter to attempt such a unparalleled dangerous circumnavigation of the globe in a sailboat. Amelia Earhart attempted it in July, 1937 in a state-of-the-art aircraft only to be lost without a trace, but then again she was almost 40 and fully aware as an adult of the risk she was taking. She too found life too boring not to play the dare-devil card just for the thrill of setting a woman's world circumnavigation record.
    The newsmedia has exercised enormous irresponsibility in giving this family so much attention. This only will encourage other teens to copycat this escapade as was the case for the very dangerous weather balloon caper recently carried out in the U.S.
    Fame, at any cost, has now become a narcissistic goal for those who would trade being labeled total fools for media attention. And the media's frenzy for weird coverage camps and waits for every opportunity.