21 Dec 2009

Missing Dutch sailor girl found in Caribbean

6:00 pm on 21 December 2009

A Dutch teenager who was prevented from trying to sail solo around the world has been found 8000 kilometres away in the Caribbean after going missing from her father's home in the Netherlands.

Laura Dekker, 14, was reported missing in Utrecht on Friday, although her boat was still moored at its usual place.

Quoting the Dutch news agency ANP, the ABC is reporting that Ms Dekker has now been found on the Caribbean island of St Martin in the Dutch Antilles.

Ms Dekker was born at sea off the coast of New Zealand, and at one point suggested she could claim New Zealand citizenship in order to prevent the Dutch authorities blocking her plans.

She had intended to set off on a two-year voyage in September, but a court placed her under state supervision because of the risk to her safety.

A police spokesperson in the Netherlands says she was spotted on St Martin by a resident who had heard media reports of her disappearance.