THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., June 12 (UPI) -- California teen Abby Sunderland was rescued Saturday by the crew of a French fishing ship some 2,000 nautical miles off western Australia, officials said.
The 16-year-old solo sailor is reported on board the Ile De La Reunion, a much larger vessel than the one Sunderland was hoping to sail around the world, The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reports. She told the broadcaster she had been through a patch of rough weather and thought conditions were improving when her mast was knocked down.
"It's been a little bit crazy these past few days. Everything's happened pretty fast but I was really lucky that there was a boat that could come and get me where I was," she said in an interview from the fishing vessel.
Sunderland's rescue was coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority with the support of Global Express aircraft. She activated an electronic distress beacon Thursday after her sail boat lost its mast in rough weather in the Indian Ocean.
Global Express served as a communications relay between Sunderland's vessel, the Wild Eyes, and the Ile De La Reunion.
In Thousand Oaks, Calif., the family home was decorated with eight pink balloons and a hand-made sign reading "Thank God Abby's alive," the English newspaper, The Daily Telegraph said.
Her father, Laurence Sunderland, said her 40-foot vessel, Wild Eyes, will probably be sunk in the Indian Ocean because it is too far from land to tow to shore.
The Australian government has said it will not charge the Sunderlands for the cost of the search and rescue, which included dispatching a Qantas jet to search the area.