No one was more surprised than Abby Sunderland at how quickly she was
rescued from the Indian Ocean after her boat, Wild Eyes, was dismasted
in an aggressive storm this past summer. "I was expecting it to be
weeks," she said. "When you set off your beacon, you know someone is
going to hear you, but I wasn't sure if I was going to be helped. But I
don't think it could have been done any faster."
On October 25, 2010, Abby Sunderland, who at age 16 attempted to sail
the world solo, finally got a chance to meet the engineers who developed
the technology credited to saving her life at NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center in Greenbelt Md. Meeting with Search and Rescue Manager
Dave Affens and a team of engineers, Sunderland was able to get a
firsthand look at the Search and Rescue Satellite system and how a
partnership between NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Coast Guard and a small yellow
beacon helped save her life, and more than 200 lives yearly in the U.S.
In January 2010, at age 16, Abby Sunderland attempted to be the youngest person to sail the world solo. When her sailboat was dismasted in June, NASA-developed technologies allowed rescuers to pinpoint her location thousands of miles off the Australian coast. On Oct. 25, 2010, Abby visited NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and met the team that developed the technology that helped save her life.