August 28, 2009
Posted: 1318 GMT

Today in the Netherlands, a judge ruled that Laura Dekker, who is 13-years-old, should not be allowed to sail around the world, on her own. So, we wanted to know...

Filed under: I-Desk Poll

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Sayan Majumdar   August 28th, 2009 1:36 pm ET

Initiative, Courage & Fortitude should be encouraged and not discouraged, irrespective of age and experience.


Vicki S. Nikolaidis   August 28th, 2009 2:43 pm ET

Yes, I think she and her parents should make the decision. She sounds like she's more comfortable in a boat on the water than most of us are on land!

I don't think the government needed to get involved in the decision at all. V.

Fawad   August 28th, 2009 3:10 pm ET

She can and authorities should back off

Cara   August 28th, 2009 3:15 pm ET

I´m from the Netherlands and I think the judge is absolutely right. I understand it might be her dream, but I think it´s irresponsible to let a 13 year old child sail around the world on her own.. Not only because of the risks, but she´ll also miss a lot of school. Maybe when she´s 16 or 17.

vic benedicto   August 28th, 2009 3:16 pm ET

the decision seems final. All we're doing now is adding to the media frenzy.

Connor Sephton   August 28th, 2009 4:05 pm ET

Age is just a number!

Thomas   August 28th, 2009 4:13 pm ET

Isn't it ironic that child protection is now attempting to limit this child's freedom to do this? Personally I think she should be able to do this if she's capable or not; she's the only one who knows if she is anyway.

Mike Dee   August 28th, 2009 4:14 pm ET

proper training should be done as well as schooling ! Why are we holding back our kids dreams?

Willem le Roux   August 28th, 2009 4:15 pm ET

All this is OK until she dies (heaven forbid) as a result of an accident, storm , her parents get sued for irresponsibility and every one says : what were we thinking......

Get real – she's under age and her parents are responsible. If she needs a challenge, give her an appropriate challenge, some thing she can deal with and realize the consequences of her actions.

Franktom   August 28th, 2009 4:20 pm ET

The poor girl should be allowed to leave her dream.

Rosanne   August 28th, 2009 4:39 pm ET

I am from the Netherlands as well and to be honest: do not forget that the guy from England didn't sail solo, he was assisted in the trip. There was a boat behind him at all times. That is something very different then sailing solo. no matter how skilled you are, at an age of 13, you're just to young. Not just physically, mentally as well... It is two years without human contact, two years with no one to talk to... and two years of hard nights of sleep! You can't have a normal, decent sleep for two years! There will be short amounts of rest, but no real sleep which is very important for a girl her age. I don't think a thirteen year old can do that.

Then we, here in the Netherlands, also have the compulsory education until your 18th. It is difficult, but I think she should wait until she is 18. The dream will be worth waiting for.

Michael Cooney   August 28th, 2009 5:00 pm ET

It certainly is a gutsy endeavour, and I fail to understand why that should be stifled. Her sailing should be allowed, but she and her family must be responsible instead of having to rely on the largesse of international ocean rescue teams.Her parents should be required to post an escrow or bond sufficiently large to completely cover the cost of any rescue attempt. The family should also waive any threat of assigning liability in the event of failue of such a rescue attempt. In other words - the family should assume the responsibility for her possible failure. I am an American living in South Africa.

Mohammed Bahari   August 28th, 2009 5:15 pm ET

It is her dream and should be allowed to achieve it! although safety measure should be in place just in case things go wrong!

Mubarak Omar   August 28th, 2009 5:42 pm ET

I think the judgement was right, and it is nice to keep the CRC and the protection of children, because of a child age of 13 years cannot take the right decision,cannot move along, i can image her dream, any person have dream but possibility should be in place. hope that she will continue her dream at the age of 18- or 19.

Thot   August 28th, 2009 6:02 pm ET

Is she trying to fulfill the dream to sail solo around the world, or simply to beat a record?
If no one putts a limit to these type situations who will be next? A 10 year old child?

She is young, she has many years yet to fulfill her dream.

Bojan, The Netherlands   August 28th, 2009 7:03 pm ET

I'm from the Netherlands as well, but the news channels reported today that the dicision is not final. The court said that they want to investigate this. And she's not really sailing solo. A boat will follow her, and they can bring aid if needed so.

And maybe you won't take me serious as a 14 year old kid, but why is it possible in New Zealand (Because if she may not sail from the dutch autorities, she's willing to imigrate to New Zealand) and why is it not possible in The Netherlands.

The parents probably know what they are doing, they probably have talked about for months with Laura herself.
We have to take this in consideration, and it's unfair that only the court can judge about this situation.

You Know Its Right   August 28th, 2009 10:55 pm ET

Just because we know education is important and we make laws for children to school doesn't mean there are exceptions.

And I think this is an exception we can make.

What kind of square world are we living in?

Vikas Rathod   August 31st, 2009 9:13 pm ET

Don't compare her age and her courage/talent. Cause talent/courage has got nothing to do with age.

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