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#WORLD RECORD - A Dutch teenager has become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the world solo - following a court battle for the right to embark on the challenge.

Sixteen-year-old Laura Dekker sailed into harbour at Sint Maarten in the Caribbean on Saturday afternoon to complete her round-the-world voyage.

She arrived a year and two days after setting out, and beat the previous unofficial record held by Australian Jessica Watson by eight months, according to RTÉ News.

The feat is more remarkable in that Dekker sailed from port-to-port, staying at sea for at most three weeks at a time, whereas Watson voyaged non-stop.

But the adventure almost didn't happen, as Dekker and her father had to fight in a court in Utrecht for the right to attempt the record, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Dekker has originally planned to set out a year earlier, at the age of 14, but the court ordered her placed in the care of welfare officers on the grounds that she was too young to guarantee her safety at sea.

She finally won the court battle in July 2010 and set sail from Gibraltar the following month, though a change to her planned course saw the challenge officially begin in Sint Maarten in January 2011 instead.

However, the record will not be officially recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records nor the World Sailing Speed Record Council, which does not classify records by age.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
Gardaí have confirmed that a 14-year-old boy drowned in the River Liffey near Clane, Co Kildare on Saturday.
According to The Irish Times, it is believed the accident occurred while the teen was playing in the river with friends. His body was removed to Naas hospital.
Elsewhere, RTÉ News reports that a diver is being treated for the bends after getting into difficulty in the sea near Kilkee, Co Clare on Sunday.
The man was airlifted by the Shannon coast guard to Galway's University Hospital after being retrieved by colleagues.

Gardaí have confirmed that a 14-year-old boy drowned in the River Liffey near Clane, Co Kildare on Saturday.

According to The Irish Times, it is believed the accident occurred while the teen was playing in the river with friends. His body was removed to Naas hospital.

Elsewhere, RTÉ News reports that a diver is being treated for the bends after getting into difficulty in the sea near Kilkee, Co Clare on Sunday.

The man was airlifted by the Shannon coast guard to Galway's University Hospital after being retrieved by colleagues.

Published in Water Safety

Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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