A Dutch court will decide whether or not to strip custody from Laura Dekker’s father, Dick Dekker, who supports her plan to sail alone around the world. Time is ticking for Dekker, who hopes to be the youngest person ever — until another beats her record.
Dekker returned Tuesday to The Netherlands under police escort from Saint Maarten, where she was picked up earlier this week. She appeared earlier today in court, with both her parents. The court hasn’t said when they will make a decision on her status.
“Laura left because child protection services were threatening to remove her from her father’s care,” her spokesperson Mariska Woertman said. “She was cutting classes at school because she was sick of having to report to social services all the time.” via AFP
Based on Anne of Carversville interest in the Laura Dekker case, I believe the dynamics of her case are changing rapidly, and the Dutch officials are under scrutiny as much as Laura’s father, with regard to her wellbeing and freedoms as a juvenile.
Details of the custody case are revealed in our earlier articles. What’s relevant to us is that court-appointed psychologists cleared her earlier of state of mind concerns, in terms of her psychological wellbeing.
I’m researching for more details on the proposed trip itself, which is presumably dangerous, but reality is that Laura Dekker isn’t setting off alone on a journey around the world, with no human contact for six month. A “shadow yacht” is with her.
Laura Dekker is a skilled sailor, at the helm almost since she could walk. Her parents are sailors and her father made a major voyage at age 12. Facebook support pages like this one out of Australia are saying (all quotes from Sydney Morning Herald article:
More men are quoted, but a review of her 700 fans shows a good gender mix:
It seems to me that the court must look at the psychological damage to Laura Dekker if she DOESN’T set sail. Theoretically, an overprotective court will harm her permanently, by not allowing her to sail. The protective mindset cannot be undone, because her age clock is ticking.
Laura Dekker is determined to make this trip. I have no doubt that if the court takes full control of her life that they could injure her forever. Laura already bears intense resentment to the authorities.
The dynamic of the case is shifting — not so much around parental rights, although it is a custody case — but into the idea that Laura Dekker, at age 14, has an enormous determination to follow her dream, for which she is skilled and well-trained.
I’m working to understand more about her proposed sailing route and how the process actually works — how “alone” is a sailor on the seas. Because of my own childhood, I can relate to Laura’s maturity, self-resilience and dreams.
Children mature differently, and experts that young women mature earlier than young men. I’m convinced that not letting her try to sail around the world is worse than ‘caring’ for her. Laura Dekker’s dream is a great message for young women. For once, it’s not about breast implants and being liked by the boys.
Until I discover potential damaging information about Laura’s dream, beyond her being allegedly young and missing school for a year, I’m joining the blossoming international club saying : Let Laura Dekker Go. Anne
A court in Utrecht ruled that 14-year-old Laura Dekker can remain with her father. In another positive move for Dekker, she may set sail in just three months’ time. The court has ruled that Laura must follow a first aid course and go on several practice runs ahead of her round-the-world journey. This is great news and we will follow closely Laura Dekker’s progress.