Dutch Sailor, 14, Goes Missing

Court had blocked Laura Dekker's attempt at round-the-world sail
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 20, 2009 9:20 AM CST
Dutch Sailor, 14, Goes Missing
This Aug. 24, 2009 file photo shows Dick Dekker, daughter Laura Dekker and lawyer Peter de Lange in Utrecht, Netherlands. Dutch police today said Laura Dekker has been missing since Friday.   (AP Photo/ Bart Muhl, File)

A teenage Dutch sailor who made headlines when she went to court to fight for the right to sail solo around the world has gone missing, police said today. Laura Dekker's boat, Guppy, is still moored at its usual berth and the 14-year-old appears to have left her father's home on her own, a police spokesman said, adding, "We do not believe this is a crime."

A Dutch court in October blocked Dekker's attempt to become the youngest person to sail alone around the world. Dekker has said she might try to go to New Zealand if Dutch authorities refused to let her sail. A Dutch newspaper reported that Dekker withdrew $5,000 from her bank account a few days ago. "We are doing everything we can to get her back," the police spokesman said. "We are certainly concerned about her health."
(More Laura Dekker stories.)

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