And they've found her, alive but dismasted, the rescue will be carried out over the next 36 hours by craft tasked to the area. Conditions sound awful, especially as dismasted - the violent swinging was what caused so much trouble in the Fastnet disaster:
An American teenage solo sailor who went missing in rough Indian Ocean seas has been found safe and well with her damaged vessel.
Abby Sunderland, 16, was spotted by an Australian search plane at 7am this morning.
She ran into trouble in a remote part of the ocean and triggered emergency beacons.
Her father Laurence told Australia's public broadcaster ABC: 'She's fine, the boat's afloat and she's on it. It's huge, fantastic, exciting news.'
She lost satellite phone contact with her family in California yesterday morning before manually activating the beacons. Her father said the yacht had lost its mast.
Australian rescue authorities had warned of 'extremely poor' conditions in the remote part of the ocean where she was drifting, with 90km/ph winds and six metre swells.
She was located by a chartered passenger jet that flew out of Perth, some 3,700 kilometres (2,300 miles) away on the west coast of Australia, carrying rescue experts including trained spotters.