Laura Dekker Update: She Stays With Dad, Prepares To Sail

laura dekker
More breaking news today on Laura Dekker, the 14-year old Dutch girl who has big plans to sail solo around the world. This past weekend, the teenager made headlines when she disappeared from Holland and turned up in St. Maarten, an island that falls in the Dutch Antilles of the Caribbean. A local there spotted her and alerted authorities, and upon being taken into custody, she was promptly sent back home.

Today, comes word that a judge has ruled on these recent activities, and has determined that Laura will remain in the custody of her father, despite youth services requesting that she be sent to live with family friends. Furthermore, the court has also set down some very specific conditions, saying that if she abides by them, she may be able to set sail in as little as three months time.

According to the article, Laura must now take a first aid course to learn how to deal with potentially life threatening injuries, and she’ll be required to make several long distance sailing trips to other countries to demonstrate her abilities at sea. The judge says that Laura should view these challenges as opportunities to prove that she is fit and ready for the round-the-world journey that would require months at sea.

It was also revealed that young girl traveled to St. Maarten on her New Zealand passport (she holds dual citizenship), and then when she arrived, there, she was looking to buy a boat, obviously to set sail on her journey.

Well, the kid got what she wanted. She’s now been given a set of criteria to fulfill that will most likely allow her to begin her circumnavigation attempt. The judge could have been much harsher on her, and she’s very lucky that she’s not being shipped off to foster care. I know her father is very much behind her attempt to sail the world, and that her mother is more cautious. But I can’t help but wonder where mom is and why she hasn’t asked to take custody of the girl.

Either way, I guess we’ll have to wait a few months to see if she gets to go. Then we’ll wait some more, and hope that all goes well.

Kraig Becker

5 thoughts on “Laura Dekker Update: She Stays With Dad, Prepares To Sail”

  1. I don't understand why she needs a country's permission to sail. Does she need to file a sail plan with some authority (which can "yay" or "nay") like one would a flight plan?

  2. Being a minor, they're trying to look out for her best interest and make sure she's safe. When her plans first game to light, the government stepped in to ensure that she wasn't just leaving port without the skills she needed.

    Her boat, the Guppy, is in a Dutch port, and yes, she would need to fill out a plan to leave, but that is mostly for safety reasons.

  3. It's not about needing permission to sail, it's about holding the parents accountable and looking out for the best interest of the child.

    The government got wind of it due to the publicity she was receiving and that is how they got involved.

    A 14 year old has no business undertaking a solo expedition of this magnitude and the government was right in stepping in and not allowing her to do so.

    We aren't talking about a solo sail across the english channel. We are talking about a solo expedition AROUND THE WORLD.

    Just like it would be irresponsible for a parent to allow a 14 year old to attempt to climb Mt. Everest, it would be just as irresponsible to allow your 14 year old to attempt a solo expedition of this scale.

  4. Hi, I'm a photo researcher for Owlkids magazine. We're currently looking for images of Laura Dekker and her boat for our upcoming June issue. We're interested in viewing images you may have regarding Laura and her boat. If you could please call or email me at the address below, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Laura Stanley
    416.340.2700 ex. 318

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