Dutch girl sailor, 14, found in Caribbean

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The Independent Online

Laura Dekker, the Dutch teenager who went missing after her bid to stage a solo voyage around the world was blocked by a court, has been found in the Caribbean island of St Maarten.

Miss Dekker, 14, disappeared on Thursday after leaving her father's house. Her boat, Guppy, was still moored at its usual berth. A Dutch newspaper report said she had withdrawn €3,500 (£3,100) from her bank account. After an international search, police yesterday tracked her down in the Dutch Antilles. Authorities said the girl would be returned to the Netherlands as soon as possible.

Miss Dekker's plight has polarised opinion across the Netherlands since expressing her intention to sail around the world, a decision her parents initially approved. In October, a court decided against the voyage and placed the child into the supervision of child care authorities.

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