Dutch teenager sets sail around the world
A 14 year old Dutch teenager, Laura Dekker, has set sail around the world on a little boat called Guppy. The teen is determined to break the record as the youngest person to navigate the globe alone.
The Dutch social services criticised the teenager's decision to embark on such an adventure, claiming the trip would have a negative impact on her mental health and wellbeing. They argued that spending so much time alone at sea is not right for a person of such a young age.
But in April, Laura won a court case to allow her to sail around the world. The current record is held by Jessica Watson from Australia, who completed her voyage in May 2010 when she was 16. Laura's expedition will take around two years to complete, and if she finishes before she turns 17 in 2012, then she will win the title.
Laura has a lot of experience of boats. She was born on a yacht during a seven year round the world trip and she has spent a lot of time on boats with her father. In order to prepare herself to sail around the world on her own, Laura has undergone first aid training and sleep management techniques.
Her adventures at sea will be caught on camera using onboard remote cameras, which will be edited by a Dutch media firm called Masmedia.
The 14 year old doesn't seem daunted by undertaking such an epic adventure by herself. She set sail on 4 August and tried to steer clear of media attention as much as possible. Before she left, she told reporters that she wasn't afraid to sail around the world alone, and she mentioned the thing she would miss most would be her dog.