Legality Concerns Prolongs a 14-year-old’s Attempt to Set World Record

Laura Dekker, a 14 year old girl, was given an extended supervision order by the Dutch court due to concerns regarding her safety.

The Dutch court extended the supervision order for Laura Dekker that further prolongs her attempt to quest around the world and be known as the latest as well as the youngest teenager to sail solo.

Just last year, she was made ward of the state amid concerns that she plans to sail around the world using her small yacht. The court believes this is physically and socially dangerous for the teenager.

The court’s decision was based from a similar attempt by Abby Sunderland, a 16 year old teenager who was recently rescued last week at the Indian Ocean. This incident raised issues and criticisms regarding her parents’ decision of allowing their daughter to do this dangerous journey alone. Her quest ended when her yacht’s mast was broken by waves which incited a 20-hour international rescue.

According to Peter De Lange, Dekker’s lawyer, she took an intense training period in Holland to prove to the authorities that she is capable to complete such quest alone. She as well took and passed a first aid program and made herself used to lack of sleep while doing her school work online. However, the Dutch Court of Middleburg still ordered that she remains under supervision for another month.

Even with these conditions, Dekker was still allowed to live with her parents at home. However, her parents need to deal with child protection authorities especially major decisions regarding their daughter.

At present, Laura lives with her father who is very much supportive with her quest. On the other hand, her mother objects of such attempt. Laura’s parents are separated.

With this, the unofficial record for the youngest girl to sail around the world solo still belongs to Jessica Watson, a 16 year old Australian teenager who recently completed her quest last month.

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