16-Year-Old Girl Sails Around the World Alone, Parents Not Arrested


After a yearlong journey, Laura Dekker, a 16-year-old from the Netherlands, completed a solo sailing trip around the world today. Upon her arrival at port, Dekker was greeted by family, friends and neighbors celebrating her safe return.

Jody Bell, one of Dekker's 10-year-old fans, calls her story "amazing," and says he "can't imagine someone her age going out on sea all by herself." Neither can I, Jody, but what I find most amazing about the story is that her parents seem to have spent this entire year without their daughter avoiding arrest on charges related to child protection.

After all, the attempt was not without precedent. The rescue of a 16-year-old girl on a similar journey made international news just two months before Dekker's departure in 2011. But, you know, that girl survived, and Dekker's parents probably made her watch Castaway at least twice.

Guinness World Records has refused to acknowledge Dekker's claim of being the youngest person to sail around the world, and their effort to avoid inspiring young sailors to do something equally stupid was an admirable one.

Meanwhile, Dekker's parents are still walking the streets.

[Image via AP]