The world record-breaking journey, which had her parents’ approval, would have taken Laura Dekker out of the classroom next week and through some of the world’s most dangerous waters for the next two years.
But judges in Utrecht ordered the state child care authorities to take responsibility for the teenager over the next two months while an independent child psychologist assesses her capacity to undertake the risky voyage.
Is a child psychologist the right person for that job? I would have suggested an experienced yachtsman.
Social workers argued that Miss Dekker was too young to be aware of the dangers of a solo journey and psychologists suggested that two years of isolation on the high seas would damage the young girl’s development.
And being taken into care isn’t damaging? Oh and how old was Nelson when he joined as a midshipman?
It emerged during the legal proceedings that the teenage girl had been placed in foster care by British police after she sailed single-handed from Holland to Britain in May.
Police in Lowestoft and social workers decided that the return journey was too dangerous and placed Miss Dekker in a home until her father came to collect her.
Well she made the outbound trip fine. And the return…
Dick Dekker, Laura’s father, collected her from the home and defied the authorities by letting her make the sea crossing alone.
I despair. I really do. She clearly knows what she is up to at sea. Let her have her great adventure! She’ll probably weep less than Ellen MacArthur on it.
Read the whole thing. It’s dismal and I need to have lunch.