03:40 AM EDT 08/24/2014
Originally posted 06/29/2010 04:30PM
The storm had passed, night had fallen and Abby Sunderland was trying to fix her boat's diesel engine when the massive three-story-high wall of water hit.
"It happened so fast," Sunderland, 16, said Tuesday during her first public appearance in the United States since being rescued from her crippled 40-foot sailboat in the Indian Ocean over two weeks ago. "When the wave rolled my boat I hit my head and things went black for a few seconds."
Despite being alone in one of the most remote parts of Earth and without a way to communicate with the outside world, the teenager from Thousand Oaks, Calif., claims she never feared for her safety.
Originally posted 06/26/2010 06:30PM
Two weeks after being rescued from her storm-ravaged sailboat, 16-year-old Abby Sunderland finally arrived on the tiny French island of Reunion, where she was greeted by her older brother Zac.
"She’s in good spirits," her mother Marianne tells PEOPLE. "She’s laughing, giggling and really wants to go out sailing in one of the Hobie Cats she spotted in the harbor."
Abby’s bid to circumnavigate the planet in a sailboat was cut short on June 10 when a massive storm destroyed her 40-foot-long sailboat "Wild Eyes" in a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean, nearly 2,000 miles west of Australia. The ensuing search for the intrepid teen sailor attracted worldwide attention.
Originally posted 06/12/2010 11:00AM
Abby Sunderland, the 16-year-old Southern California sailor who was lost at sea during an around-the-world voyage has been rescued.
A French fishing vessel, "Ile de la Reunion," picked up Sunderland 2,000 miles from the western coast of Australia and is transporting her back to land, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Sunderland had set sail from California in January in an attempt to be the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe solo without stopping. She lost communication when the mast on her yacht, "Wild Eyes," broke during a storm, but was able to launch a distress beacon.
Originally posted 06/10/2010 06:10PM
She was alone in her sailboat, two days after reaching the halfway point in an around-the-world voyage, and 16-year-old Abby Sunderland was bracing for trouble.
"The wind is beginning to pick up," she wrote in her blog from the Indian Ocean on Wednesday. "It is back up to 20 knots and I am expecting that by midnight tonight I could have 35 - 50 knots with gusts up to 60 so I am off to sleep before it really picks up."
By the next morning, the Southern California girl – who once had hoped to become the youngest sailor to circle the globe solo without stopping – was lost at sea.
A rescue effort was launched Thursday, but the soonest any craft could arrive would be 40 hours, and an air rescue was stymied by her remote location, her parents wrote on her blog.
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!