Rescued teen sailor Abby Sunderland arrives in Southern California

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rescued teen sailor arrives in Southern Calif.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The teenage girl forced to abandon her dream of sailing around the world returned to her Southern California home Monday night.

Video footage on KTLA-TV showed Abby Sunderland arriving at her home in Thousands Oaks.

The 16-year-old got out of a black car and was escorted into the house by an unidentified male without speaking to reporters. Balloons adorned the entryway of her home.

Sunderland began her journey last Jan. 23 from Marina del Rey, hoping to become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe. She plans to talk about her adventure at a news conference at a marina hotel on Tuesday.

Sunderland departed Sunday from the French island of Reunion, off the southeastern coast of Africa, en route to France. From Paris, she flew on to California.

The American teenager’s attempt to sail solo around the world ended June 10 when her mast snapped in a storm in the Indian Ocean, sparking an extensive international rescue mission.

She had already in April given up hope of becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo, when she was forced to stop for repairs.

Sunderland has dismissed concerns about her young age, saying she was well-prepared for the trip, and has said all the criticism of her parents was “ungrounded.”

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