Sail girl Laura Dekker can stay with father
Wednesday 23 December 2009
Laura Dekker, the 14-year-old girl who wants to sail solo around the world, can remain at home with her father, a court in Utrecht ruled on Wednesday evening, reports the website of public broadcaster Nos.
Laura, who is a ward of court, was brought back to Holland this week after running away to the Caribbean island of St Maarten last week where, according to her lawyer, she wanted to buy a boat.
The youth social services asked the court for Laura to be sent to live with family friends for three months.
According to earlier media reports, Laura ran away from home because she feels the court is frustrating her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Child protection officers are concerned about her safety and the court has said it wants to be sure Laura can cope with the two-year trip.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the judges laid down concrete conditions for allowing the trip, reports Nos. They said that she should see these conditions as a chance to prove herself rather than as restrictions. For example, Laura must follow a first aid course and make a number of sailing trips abroad to prepare for her proposed round-the-world journey.
According to her lawyer, the judges want to help Laura so that she can make her world trip in three months time, reports Nos.
It also emerged today that Laura used her New Zeeland passport (she was born on a boat in New Zeeland) to fly from Paris to the island of St Maarten.