Authorities have begun a search for Abby Sunderland.
The 16-year old is attempting to sail around the world on her own, but her parents lost contact with her this morning, soon before the teenager set off a distress signal. She's believed to be in the southern part of the Indian Ocean.
"Everything seemed to be under control," father Laurence Sunderland told The Los Angeles Times. "But then our call dropped and a hour later the coast guard called."
A rescue effort, coordinated by the French-controlled Reunion Islands and Australia, is underway. However, Sunderland is likely hundreds of miles away from land and there's concern over how long it would take a boat to reach her.
Said family spokesman Christian Pinkston: "We've got to get a plane out there quick... They are exhausting every resource to try to mobilize an air rescue including discussions with the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Coast Guard and various international rescue organizations."
Meanwhile, Abby's parents have updated their blog with this statement:
Abby has all of the equipment on board to survive a crisis situation like this. She has a dry suit, survival suit, life raft, and ditch bag with emergency supplies. If she can keep warm and hang on, help will be there as soon as possible. Wild Eyes is designed for travel in the Southern Ocean and is equipped with 5 air-tight bulkheads to keep her buoyant in the event of major hull damage. It is built to Category 0 standards and is designed to self-right in the event of capsize.
Thank you for all of your kind emails and calls. We appreciate your prayers and support.
Let's all hope Abby Sunderland is found alive and well.