Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:40 am UTC

crzftx wrote:if we were playing "point out that logical fallacy" then yes, you may. Regardless of the example (not a metaphor), the point holds. Some laws are still considered "good laws" even if you and the involved parties don't agree.
I... guess? I don't understand the relevance concerning a law that prevents murder and a law that prevents parents from allowing their children to undertake risky behavior. I suppose I'm just not understanding what your point was, here.
crzftx wrote:]So I'm clear, we both agree people should be stopped from doing things clearly harmful to themselves even if all relevant parties consent? You just don't find this particular case risky enough to be stopped, and I do?
Oh, not at all. I believe people have every right to bring themselves harm. To believe otherwise is to engage in paternalism at its finest; what you may perceive as self-harm, I may perceive as self-improvement. Removing a limb is clearly harmful, but there are people - very intelligent, very emotionally healthy people - who still want to do it, and do. I'm not going to get in their way, and you shouldn't, either.

The only question I think is relevant in this particular case is whether or not the child's consent can be safely said to have been given. The issue is whether a child of 13 can give consent in this situation, and whether we trust her parents when they say she's giving it - that she understands the risks and is intelligent enough to make a determination concerning whether those risks are worth pursuing what she wants to pursue. In situations like this, outside of clear demonstrations of negligence, misinformation, or coercion, I like to err on the side of the parents.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby MrGee » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:14 am UTC

It's a fact of life that some people mature faster than others. If you would let an adult do this, and the girl acts sufficiently like an adult, it follows that the courts must let her do it. We only use age to determine things like who can drink alcohol because age correlates with maturity in the general population and the courts don't have any means of making a separate, informed decision for every person.

That said, I think it's a terrible idea that will end in tears. Don't buy any of that "only hurting herself" crap; what happens when she gets injured and becomes a permanent ward of the state? I won't be sad to see her held back by some violation of the education laws.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Vaniver » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:25 am UTC

cathrl wrote:Thing is, the only reason she's going alone is so she can set a "youngest person ever to do it" record. I don't think that should be sufficient reason to put her at the significant extra risk of going alone. She could get the exact same life experiences by going with her parents or another adult.
I know this is a page later, but the exact same experience? Living on your own for an extended period of time is radically different from living with another adult, regardless of the circumstances.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:27 am UTC

MrGee wrote:That said, I think it's a terrible idea that will end in tears. Don't buy any of that "only hurting herself" crap; what happens when she gets injured and becomes a permanent ward of the state? I won't be sad to see her held back by some violation of the education laws.
I really don't understand this sentiment. Do you think that people who miss out on two years of school during their teenage years are automatically emotionally stunted? Do you think plenty of highly intelligent, productive, emotionally mature people haven't spent two years - or more - outside of a school system? Do you think everyone who's been home-schooled or provided with other alternative models of education is, like, emotionally and intellectually retarded?

Jesus; can people not comprehend the notion that sailing for two years around the world is actually educational? Just because it doesn't fit your own indoctrinated notion of what constitutes an education doesn't mean it's any less worthwhile. Hell, she might turn out to be considerably smarter than you!

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Vaniver » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:32 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Jesus; can people not comprehend the notion that sailing for two years around the world is actually educational? Just because it doesn't fit your own indoctrinated notion of what constitutes an education doesn't mean it's any less worthwhile. Hell, she might turn out to be considerably smarter than you!
God damn it Hippo, we can't have people learning self-reliance or grit or determination, particularly not at a young age. That's not what learning is about at all!
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby The Reaper » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:18 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:Jesus; can people not comprehend the notion that sailing for two years around the world is actually educational? Just because it doesn't fit your own indoctrinated notion of what constitutes an education doesn't mean it's any less worthwhile. Hell, she might turn out to be considerably smarter than you!
God damn it Hippo, we can't have people learning self-reliance or grit or determination, particularly not at a young age. That's not what learning is about at all!
Of course not. That would be dangerous to governments everywhere.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby el_loco_avs » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:32 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Also, is there anything precluding a manned, powered chase ship? I mean, I don't think there's anything in the rules that says the boat can't be followed by a more badass boat.




Hm. A safety net like that would kinda invalidate the whole thing to me. You could just chat with mom and dad via the radio alllll day long about what to do whenever. I'm not sure what the 'rules' are for this.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Zamfir » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:38 am UTC

Some details I found: I read nothing about a chase ship, but she goes from port to port and there are people their parents know in every port. She won't round the capes but go through the Suez and Panama canals. If the courts forbid it, she's going to give up the Dutch nationality, apparently she can get a nationality from New-Zealand because she was born there.

What bothers me personally is the 'youngest' record part. If she was 16 or 17, it would be lot more acceptable, and it would learn her probably as much but with less risks to her mental development, and with a lot more assurance that it is really her wish, and not just the projected wish of the parents.

The only reason to do it now is the record, and that seems to affect the judgement of both her and her parents. Also, I don't buy the "she wants it and her parents support it" line. At 13, your parents influence your opinion a lot, and their apparent enthusiasm (or not) will overshadow a lot of judgement you can make yourself.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Zorlin » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:43 am UTC

el_loco_avs wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:Also, is there anything precluding a manned, powered chase ship? I mean, I don't think there's anything in the rules that says the boat can't be followed by a more badass boat.




Hm. A safety net like that would kinda invalidate the whole thing to me. You could just chat with mom and dad via the radio alllll day long about what to do whenever. I'm not sure what the 'rules' are for this.
She'd still be going solo. Her parents following her is a mere coincidence.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:31 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:What bothers me personally is the 'youngest' record part. If she was 16 or 17, it would be lot more acceptable, and it would learn her probably as much but with less risks to her mental development, and with a lot more assurance that it is really her wish, and not just the projected wish of the parents.
Again, I can understand fears concerning her being manipulated by her parents (the whole reason we have an age of consent is because we assume children can't be trusted to freely give consent until a certain age), but 'risks to her mental development'? Really? You think sailing around the world for two years - visiting ports, meeting new people - would 'risk her mental development'? On what basis?

I mean, this mentality really, honestly infuriates me. Do you think 13 year olds are magical fairies who must subsist on a regular diet of cafeteria onion rings and the cheerful whims of government-ordained teachers - lest they wilt? Do you think that 13 year olds have not been raised on farms, outside of any educational context, and turned out perfectly fine? We're not talking about putting her in an isolation tank; we're not talking about putting her on a raft, pushing her out to sea, and cocking our shotguns whenever she drifts close enough to shore to make out a person. We're talking about a trip 'round the world. The dangers reside purely in the physical realm; I see absolutely no danger to her mental growth. Let's talk about actual threats - like the fact that she may have to fight sea monsters or mermen!

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Zamfir » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:36 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:We're not talking about putting her in an isolation tank;


As far as I can tell, the standard sailing around the world to set a record trip does mean that you limit port visits to the minimum required to repair your boat when stuff breaks, so the result is actually a lot like living in an isolation tank. It's for example what the current youngest person to do so did. But his trip lasted 9 months or so, not 2 years, which I would say makes quite a difference when it comes to being alone for a long time.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby EvilDuckie » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:46 am UTC

Just to put the "mental development" thing into perspective... (damn, Hippo, you're almost making me feel bad for taking the standard route through school...)

The way the educational system works over here is that "higher" education (college/university) has entry requirements. If you want to study X you need to have sufficient grades in subjects A, B and C at the required level. If you don't have those, you don't get in. So "highschool" prepares you for that. Missing that for 2 years, especially early years, means she will be at a disadvantage. I'm not saying our educational system is perfect, but it does have its merits...

Now, it is possible to study on your own for a certain period of time if there is a good reason for it and the school/department of education agrees to it. A trip around the world is a common reason to ask for this, and usually permission is given if the parents or some other form of adult supervision are present. Also, you will still be expected to take the same exams as other students. Technically, I think this could be solved by staying in touch at regular intervals (which she would have to do anyway).

It's been suggested we send the navy along to keep an eye on her... If that happens, I think I'm going to ask the airforce if they can fly me to Antarctica... Because I'd really like to go and it'd be a valuable learning experience... :roll:
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:53 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:As far as I can tell, the standard sailing around the world to set a record trip does mean that you limit port visits to the minimum required to repair your boat when stuff breaks, so the result is actually a lot like living in an isolation tank. It's for example what the current youngest person to do so did. But his trip lasted 9 months or so, not 2 years, which I would say makes quite a difference when it comes to being alone for a long time.
All I can do is again and again point you to simple facts: She'll be able to call the trip off mid-go if she suddenly realizes she can't handle it. Children aren't magical fairies who wilt when you fail to integrate them into elementary and middle-schools for two years. People have been raised in isolated circumstances before and turned out perfectly fine. She'll have access to 21st century technological infrastructures that allow her to communicate with her loved ones.

There's this incredibly frustrating tendency for us to look upon children as if they are fragile and ornate things that will break the moment we turn our backs on them. Yes, it is easy to break a child and produce a sociopath, but granting children the tools to attain their own independence - while supplying the support they need should they find the challenge too daunting - is not one of those ways.
EvilDuckie wrote:The way the educational system works over here is that "higher" education (college/university) has entry requirements. If you want to study X you need to have sufficient grades in subjects A, B and C at the required level. If you don't have those, you don't get in. So "highschool" prepares you for that. Missing that for 2 years, especially early years, means she will be at a disadvantage. I'm not saying our educational system is perfect, but it does have its merits...
You're making the tremendous assumption that she's interested in pursuing the traditional college system. Maybe she has no interest in higher education. At least, not higher education in the traditional, hierarchical sense.

But let's say she does; let's say she wants to go to College X. Okay. I personally know people who were homeschooled in the vein of fundamental Christianity. The textbooks were godawful relics that contained more bad science than you could shake two sticks at. It would be absolutely fair to accuse this person of having missed not just two, but four or more years of traditional education. Now? This person is currently in college, pulling a 4.0 GPA.

There is absolutely nothing that your traditional westernized pre-college academic setting can give you that you can't get somewhere else1. The notion that by missing out on school, this person is missing out on something integral to their emotional and intellectual maturity is just ridiculous.

1That's not a cry for the destruction of public academic institutions; I'm just saying, if you can get your education elsewhere, get it.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Vaniver » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:24 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:What bothers me personally is the 'youngest' record part. If she was 16 or 17, it would be lot more acceptable, and it would learn her probably as much but with less risks to her mental development, and with a lot more assurance that it is really her wish, and not just the projected wish of the parents.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby crzftx » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:41 am UTC

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Telchar » Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:10 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:There is absolutely nothing that your traditional westernized pre-college academic setting can give you that you can't get somewhere else1. The notion that by missing out on school, this person is missing out on something integral to their emotional and intellectual maturity is just ridiculous.


She's sailing around the world alone for 2 years, which would prevent her from forming and keeping meaningful social relationships. I could see some concern for that. Not a lot, but if we are going the "emotional damage" route...it could happen.

I do think it is somewhat negligent of the parents to allow their daughter to do this. I would think the same would be true driving around middle asia for 2 years alone. There are people with more experience than her that won't attempt this because of how dangerous it is. I think it, at the very least, isn't ludicrous that social services would look into this. Revoking custody? Too far imo. However, if we would say that she can't make other life altering decisions due to her age (drink/smoke/get a tattoo...these may be legal there. I dunno. I can only speak from my experience) how is it we can say she is perfectly able to assess this risk?
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby zug » Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:27 am UTC

If they really want her to go, they should set it all up and send her on her way before the courts interfere. Ask permission later.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby EvilDuckie » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:09 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:You're making the tremendous assumption that she's interested in pursuing the traditional college system. Maybe she has no interest in higher education. At least, not higher education in the traditional, hierarchical sense.


Good point, and yes, this may be the case indeed. But then I would argue that 13 is rather young to be making that kind of a decision. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life back when I was 13. That's why the compulsory education laws are in place.

zug wrote:If they really want her to go, they should set it all up and send her on her way before the courts interfere. Ask permission later.


That's exactly what they should have done. Or maybe not, it would have given the courts an even better argument for stripping the parents of their parental powers.

Apparently they had an issue with British authorities at an undisclosed moment in the past, when the girl wanted to sail solo from England to The Netherlands.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby breintje » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:21 am UTC

This is just one of those situations where I'm ashamed to be dutch. The people who want to and can do extraordinary things will be kept down, due to jealousy. It's sure okay for parents to send their children to soccer or gymnastics, despite the fact that a load of them will end up in hospital, possibly with permanent damage. But sailing around the world, no you can't do that. And although they will use a guise of child protection / education, it is just another occurance of the mentality of "I can't/couldn't (/ was unable to) do that so we won't allow her to do it either". You are not allowed to be above normal.

Sure, it is dangerous, but cycling to school is dangerous as well. Besides, there are few people in the Netherlands who are better sea sailers, the risk will be managable. Chase boats are not forbidden, neither are SOS beacons, gps-trackers etc..
As for education, she will be following school via email and internet. And honestly, the level of education in secondary school is such that following it by email would still be doable. And the lessons of self reliance and determination would be much more important. She could, if nessecary, even continue the school grade she is currently in after the trip.
Yes, she might be emotionally damaged from no contact whatsoever during 2 years. Still, she will be able to phone home and meet people at the ports. The point in a solo sail trip is not having no contact, but doing the sailing alone. Besides, think of the emotional scarring that will occur if she is blocked by the court. "I am the would be youngest solo around the world sailor. I could have done it, but the government kept me down." How'd you like to walk the rest of your life like that.

Oh, and let everyone please stop comparing her with themselves. That is not possible.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:33 am UTC

crzftx wrote:How can anyone reasonably state her ability to socially interact with other humans will not be affected?
How can anyone reasonably state her ability to socially interact with other humans will be affected? Again, she can call this off whenever she wants to; if she gets lonely or homesick or she can't put up with it, she slips into port, sends a phone-call to her parents, and they come pick her up. And, what - you don't think she'll interact with people when she's in port?

But even if you were right and this was totally the equivalent of her parents dumping her in an isolation tank (an isolation tank she can leave at regular intervals), the notion that children need to be 'socialized' and that we should take away their self-determination on the basis that 'you need to interact with other people or you'll grow up to be emotionally immature!' is pure drivel. It's one thing to tell a child that they can't stay inside playing video-games all day; it's another to tell a child that they can't dedicate a considerable portion of their work and time to pursuing their dreams.

Oh, and, by the way, "I know this guy, he used the internet all the time, and now he's a headcase!" does not count as compelling evidence. In case you were wondering.
Telchar wrote:I do think it is somewhat negligent of the parents to allow their daughter to do this. I would think the same would be true driving around middle asia for 2 years alone. There are people with more experience than her that won't attempt this because of how dangerous it is. I think it, at the very least, isn't ludicrous that social services would look into this. Revoking custody? Too far imo. However, if we would say that she can't make other life altering decisions due to her age (drink/smoke/get a tattoo...these may be legal there. I dunno. I can only speak from my experience) how is it we can say she is perfectly able to assess this risk?
She isn't; that's why children need their parents' consent before engaging in risk-taking behavior. Parents act as both a child's guardian and the means by which we can determine when a child's consent has been attained. A stranger can't determine if a child has given consent, but the parents can - that's the entire basis of parental structure. Anyway, there are people with more experience with cars than me who won't drive to the local gas-station; we don't base risk assessment off of what risks other people are willing to take - rather we base it off what the risks are.

Also, if you think this action demonstrates gross negligence on the parents' part, then yes - you need to take the child away. Don't be half-assed about this; if the parents are putting the child in terrible danger and allowing her to make life-altering decisions that will destroy her future irrevocably, then why the hell aren't you demanding that the child be stripped from their possession and put into social services? Do you think the parents are merely experiencing 'momentary insanity' that will somehow magically pass tomorrow? They're clearly intent on letting their daughter do this; they're going to change her citizenship just so she can. If you think this is unreasonably dangerous and negligent, your only option is to take the child away.
EvilDuckie wrote:I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life back when I was 13.
She does. Because you were clueless, should we hold those who aren't back?

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Zamfir » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:12 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Also, if you think this action demonstrates gross negligence on the parents' part, then yes - you need to take the child away. Don't be half-assed about this; if the parents are putting the child in terrible danger and allowing her to make life-altering decisions that will destroy her future irrevocably, then why the hell aren't you demanding that the child be stripped from their possession and put into social services? Do you think the parents are merely experiencing 'momentary insanity' that will somehow magically pass tomorrow? They're clearly intent on letting their daughter do this; they're going to change her citizenship just so she can. If you think this is unreasonably dangerous and negligent, your only option is to take the child away.


Why the extreme solutions? Taking away a child from its parents is extreme and might be more damaging than nearly of the things it could prevent. But that leaves a gray area of things that still not good, but not bad enough to justify taking the child away. This case looks as if it might fall in that category.

Of course, the kid could indeed be so mature and wise that she can accurately judge the risks involved and determine her actions independent from her parents. But I would say that for a 13 year old, the burden of evidence lies on the parents and child to prove that she is such an exception, and it can't hurt if society asks them to provide such evidence instead of accepting it at face value.

There is a clear sliding scale there: for a 9 year old the case would be clear in my opinion, and for a 16 year old too. This is a border case, and those are difficult.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:29 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Why the extreme solutions? Taking away a child from its parents is extreme and might be more damaging than nearly of the things it could prevent. But that leaves a gray area of things that still not good, but not bad enough to justify taking the child away. This case looks as if it might fall in that category.
Because the parents are clearly hellbent on accomplishing this; the only way to stop them is to take the child away from them. If you're going to say "this is unacceptable, the parents can't do this to their child" - then your only option is to take the child away from them. That's really the only effective solution that seems to be on the table.
Zamfir wrote:There is a clear sliding scale there: for a 9 year old the case would be clear in my opinion, and for a 16 year old too. This is a border case, and those are difficult.
You know, if a 9 year old could clearly demonstrate they possessed the skill to navigate the seas, the strength to operate a sailboat, and the mental acuity to accomplish the day-to-day tasks that sailing entails, I'd have no issue with it. I highly doubt we'd ever meet such a 9 year old, but hey, if we did...

She's sailed on her own for two week periods; the longest leg of this voyage will be crossing the Atlantic or the Pacific, which I can't imagine would take considerably longer than a month. Maybe two? Doesn't seem borderline to me at all.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby cathrl » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:47 pm UTC

Thing is, people here are saying "she can just nip into port if she wants to give up."

No, she can't. The time she's likely to want to give up is when she's in the middle of a raging storm, has had no sleep or hot food for 4 days, her mainsail's in shreds and she needs to repair the top of the mast. As far as I'm concerned, she is too young to consent to putting herself in this type of situation and it's neglect for her parents to consent to it for her.

We are not talking a 1 in 1,000,000 chance here. It's not on the same scale as being injured playing sport or being run over on a bike. Read some of the reports by solo round the world sailors as to the problems they faced. I'm not postulating a worst-case scenario, I'm postulating something that's almost certain to happen at some point. She's going to be out there for two years; she doesn't get to only sail in decent weather.

I couldn't care less about the social aspects - if she loses the internet for a week or two the world won't end. I'm not even concerned about the educational ones, because going round the world has got to be massively educational in its own right. I'm purely concerned by her parents knowingly putting her in a long term physically demanding situation where she can have no help whatsoever and if she gets it wrong she dies.

If she can sail on her own for two weeks she has nothing to prove anyway. Nobody's saying she can't sail. They're just saying she can't take a boat round the world on her own.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:18 pm UTC

cathrl wrote:No, she can't. The time she's likely to want to give up is when she's in the middle of a raging storm, has had no sleep or hot food for 4 days, her mainsail's in shreds and she needs to repair the top of the mast. As far as I'm concerned, she is too young to consent to putting herself in this type of situation and it's neglect for her parents to consent to it for her.
I was addressing specifically the notion of emotional damage when I pointed out that she could give up. As in, the notion that this would do emotional, mental trauma to her is ridiculous, because she can opt out of the situation at any point she arrives in port. The notion that this is physically dangerous is an entirely different argument, which brings us to...
cathrl wrote:I'm purely concerned by her parents knowingly putting her in a long term physically demanding situation where she can have no help whatsoever and if she gets it wrong she dies.
Aka, real life?

Yes, this is a life-threatening thing to put yourself under. And yes, I think people have the right to put themselves at risk, so long as it is adequately clear that they understand those risks and are under no delusions concerning their own capabilities and what the challenge consists of. Even children.

To demand that at no time we allow children to undertake physically dangerous tasks is to demand that at no time we allow children to grow up.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby EvilDuckie » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:34 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:She's sailed on her own for two week periods; the longest leg of this voyage will be crossing the Atlantic or the Pacific, which I can't imagine would take considerably longer than a month. Maybe two? Doesn't seem borderline to me at all.


Actually... From what I've managed to find out about the boat, it's not very fast. 6.3 knots on the engine, 5.8 under sail.

http://www.lauradekker.nl is her website. The tentative schedule has her leave Panama in May 2010 and arrive in Australia in November. There's not a whole lot in between really, which means that for long periods of time she will be several days sailing away from any sort of help or support.

She's also planning to sail into the Red Sea, I'm not sure whether that's a good idea given all the piracy in that region and the fact she'll have a position tracker on her website...
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Telchar » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:09 am UTC

She isn't; that's why children need their parents' consent before engaging in risk-taking behavior. Parents act as both a child's guardian and the means by which we can determine when a child's consent has been attained. A stranger can't determine if a child has given consent, but the parents can - that's the entire basis of parental structure. Anyway, there are people with more experience with cars than me who won't drive to the local gas-station; we don't base risk assessment off of what risks other people are willing to take - rather we base it off what the risks are.


We also try and gather information about those risks, which includes appeals to authority. Your gas station anology is also absurd and is no way contrary to what I said. They may not go to the gas station due to agorophobia, but not because it carries in inordinate ammount of inherent risk. Also, yes, the parents can consent for the child when consent is legal. It's not legal to consent to let your daughter jump off a building, even though you consent. I was merely demonstrating the absurdity of the consent arguement.

Also, if you think this action demonstrates gross negligence on the parents' part, then yes - you need to take the child away. Don't be half-assed about this; if the parents are putting the child in terrible danger and allowing her to make life-altering decisions that will destroy her future irrevocably, then why the hell aren't you demanding that the child be stripped from their possession and put into social services? Do you think the parents are merely experiencing 'momentary insanity' that will somehow magically pass tomorrow? They're clearly intent on letting their daughter do this; they're going to change her citizenship just so she can. If you think this is unreasonably dangerous and negligent, your only option is to take the child away?


Because while I agree that this act represents negligence and carries with it great possible risk, that risk is better than knowingly damaging a child by seperating them from their birth parents at 13 years of age. The ammount of certain trauma that could cause should only be reserved for very specific, intentionally life threatening situations such as consenting to let your child jump off a building. You're attitude that if you take a stance, you have to go all the way is absurd and applies almost nowhere in reality.

Aka, real life?

Yes, this is a life-threatening thing to put yourself under. And yes, I think people have the right to put themselves at risk, so long as it is adequately clear that they understand those risks and are under no delusions concerning their own capabilities and what the challenge consists of. Even children.

To demand that at no time we allow children to undertake physically dangerous tasks is to demand that at no time we allow children to grow up.


There are plenty of children that "grow up" every day without sailing around the world alone for 2 years. To put it more clearly, so you won't throw some absurd analogy about how crossing the street is dangerous, there is an acceptable ammount of risks that minors shouldn't be placed in, imo regardless of parental consent. I think that line is crossed here.
Last edited by Telchar on Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:21 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Delass » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:46 am UTC

Just curious, everyone who says "Oh me yarm no its too dangerous", what are you doing with your lives?

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby el_loco_avs » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:11 am UTC

Couple things I was thinking about.

Zamfir wrote:Some details I found: I read nothing about a chase ship, but she goes from port to port and there are people their parents know in every port. She won't round the capes but go through the Suez and Panama canals. If the courts forbid it, she's going to give up the Dutch nationality, apparently she can get a nationality from New-Zealand because she was born there.


Wouldn't that take her through the Gulf of Aden. Ie. Pirateland?



Second: a local newspaper mentioned something that her father was most likely the driving force. He apparantly was very fanatical about her setting that record as the youngest ever.
Last summer she sailed to England solo and she was detained there. They called her parents who said it was okay, but the authorities didn't release her until one of her parents picked her up. I guess it's not just the dutch government that's worried. This might affect her world journey.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Telchar » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:19 am UTC

Delass wrote:Just curious, everyone who says "Oh me yarm no its too dangerous", what are you doing with your lives?


Delass...............................................................................................................................................................................................................Point.

No one is aruguing that this wouldn't be awesome. However, to argue that one has to put oneself in danger in order to have a fulfilling life is absurd. Some people enjoy cliffdiving, skydiving (tandem or otherwise) and downhill skiing. Other people don't.To denigrate their quality of life based on your own standards is.....prickish.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby EvilDuckie » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:37 am UTC

The verdict from the court case is out:
The judge ruled that it is not a good idea to let her go. The court was not convinced that Laura would be able to handle the extreme events that she would almost certainly run into. She will, for the time being, be monitored by Child Protective Services, but her parents will not be stripped of their parental powers. In addition to that, a children's psychologist will investigate her.

The family's lawyer appears to be pleased with this verdict, as it does not imply that her parents have been negligent.

Here's the (Dutch) article: http://www.nu.nl/algemeen/2070399/rechter-verbiedt-wereldreis-laura.html
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby el_loco_avs » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:24 am UTC

Yeah taking her away from her parents would've been.... excessive.

I wonder what will happen with the New Zealand plan.


The investigation will be into if she's capable of sailing around the world alone. Verdict expected on october 26th.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby EvilDuckie » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:48 am UTC

el_loco_avs wrote:I wonder what will happen with the New Zealand plan.


I was wondering about that... Would she be able to simply set sail and go off if she had New Zealand citizenship? Wouldn't there be similar (government) opposition to the whole plan there?
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby el_loco_avs » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:21 pm UTC

EvilDuckie wrote:
el_loco_avs wrote:I wonder what will happen with the New Zealand plan.


I was wondering about that... Would she be able to simply set sail and go off if she had New Zealand citizenship? Wouldn't there be similar (government) opposition to the whole plan there?


Well I think the plan is basically hoping that NZ will just let her go.


An article about our current record holder, which highlights some of the troubles one might encounter (pirates, tiredness etc) and some of the good stuff:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/16/teen.s ... und.world/
Spoiler:
(CNN) -- A Southern California teenager has serious bragging rights: After docking back in his home state late Thursday morning, Zac Sunderland, 17, can claim to be the youngest person to sail around the world alone.

The hardest part of a solo voyage is always being tired, Zac Sunderland says.

Sunderland was greeted with thunderous applause and congratulations as he arrived at Marina del Rey in his 36-foot sailboat.

"It's kind of crazy to have it done now because, I mean, for the past year I've been just fighting for the next ocean, fighting to get back. And now I'm back so it's amazing," he said.

The teen acknowledged the 27,500-mile voyage wasn't easy. He told CNN that pirates off the coast of Indonesia gave him quite a scare.

"[I] had a boat circle in and ended up calling in the coast watch and they chased them off but, yeah, [I] lucked out there! About an hour and a half of hell."

Severe storms also were a problem, he said.

Sunderland's Web site says he bought the boat with his own money.

His parents had hoped he would find something that would spark a fire in him, a passion that would direct him away from all the negative and harmful influences that are so prevalent in society, but even they were stunned by the scope of his dreams and desires, it says. Watch Sunderland give advice to fellow teens »

He was 16 when he left Marina del Rey on June 14, 2008, aboard his boat, Intrepid. Solitude and exhaustion were just a couple of factors that faced him each day.


Campbell Brown

Zac Sunderland, the youngest person to sail around the world alone, takes your questions and talks to Campbell Brown
Tonight 8pm ET

see full schedule »

"The hardest constantly was the tiredness," he said. "I mean, you get over the loneliness, but tiredness, it's an ongoing thing. Half the time I haven't slept in 48 hours and it's just hard to get enough rest."

Sunderland said he made some good contacts along the way.

"It's interesting just thinking back to the different places in the world because I have so many friends in different parts of the world that are like family, you know, and all these different experiences," he said.


"It's an amazing year. It seems like yesterday that I was here but in other ways it seems like a hundred years."

So what's next? "Yeah, I don't know, just go chill with my friends," he said. "Go skate. Go do something normal for a change, you know."
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Angua » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:27 pm UTC

Wait what? I thought that had just been done this week by a Brit? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/8223760.stm This was just reported yesterday.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:21 pm UTC

Them both being 17 doesn't preclude one being younger than the other.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Angua » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:24 pm UTC

I agree, I just thought it was funny that the one in the US was one month or so before the one in the UK. I hadn't heard about the one in the US so it was confusing (I mixed them both up).
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:32 pm UTC

Actually what's even more amusing to me is that presumably when they were planning these trips (and the planning times would have overlapped) they had presumably no idea the other was doing it. So this American kid setting out to break a record has no idea he's going to be beaten within a month.
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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Walter.Horvath » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:11 pm UTC


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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby Delass » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:10 am UTC

Telchar wrote:
Delass wrote:Just curious, everyone who says "Oh me yarm no its too dangerous", what are you doing with your lives?


Delass...............................................................................................................................................................................................................Point.

No one is aruguing that this wouldn't be awesome. However, to argue that one has to put oneself in danger in order to have a fulfilling life is absurd. Some people enjoy cliffdiving, skydiving (tandem or otherwise) and downhill skiing. Other people don't.To denigrate their quality of life based on your own standards is.....prickish.


And nothing is wrong with not cliffdiving, not skydiving, or not sailing around the world. However to argue that one can't put oneself in danger to further fulfill life is just as absurd. To restrict their quality of life based on your own standards is prickish.

I really wasn't trying to insult anyone. But I do wonder if people who havent done anything well, awesome and dangerous, would be able to relate to and understand the people who do have a drive, urge, even need to do something amazing. If you can't relate to that desire, then that would effect how you feel about it? Its like a person who never gets horny and sex. They probably think its gross, and no one should do it because of unwanted diseases and pregnancy.

As far as the court cases, the dutch probably just lost a world record, a ton of potential patriotism, and three really rich taxpayers. gg.

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Re: Dutch court case to stop 13 year old's solo yacht trip

Postby luketheduke » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:38 am UTC

Delass wrote:As far as the court cases, the dutch probably just lost a world record, a ton of potential patriotism, and three really rich taxpayers. gg.
Eh, New Zealand said they'd probably do the same thing.
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