LOS ANGELES: The father of the rescued ocean sailor Abby Sunderland has admitted his daughter was to feature in a reality television series pitched to American networks.Laurence Sunderland told CNN’s Larry King Live on Monday he had an agreement with a Los Angeles production company to film both 16-year-old Abby and her brother Zac, also a solo ocean sailor, for an ”inspirational” reality show.Mr Sunderland said the company, Magnetic Entertainment, wanted to film Abby’s attempt to sail solo around the world.But earlier yesterday, in a separate interview, Mr Sunderland accused the company of ”assuming Abigail was going to die out there. They were relying on her dying, and so we cut the ties.”Abby Sunderland’s four-month solo voyage ended last Thursday when she sent out distress signals deep in the Southern Ocean after the mast on her yacht, Wild Eyes, snapped.She was rescued on Saturday.Ted Caloroso, an executive vice-president of Magnetic, contradicted Sunderland’s claims that the company had been unable to sell its footage.He said the company had a deal for the Sunderland story with the film and TV production company Reveille.In a CNN interview yesterday, Mr Caloroso suggested Abby or her vessel had not been ready to leave, and said Laurence Sunderland ”basically pushed her out for a sponsorship deadline”.Wild Eyes sailed out of Los Angeles on January 25, and made an unscheduled stop in the Mexican port of Cabo San Lucas 11 days later, with a further 16-day stop for more repairs in Cape Town on May 5.”Laurence didn’t figure out the proper power consumption of the vessel,” Mr Caloroso said. ”He didn’t figure out a lot of things. Her auto-pilot basically didn’t work throughout the voyage.”Mr Caloroso said he had filmed Abby Sunderland in Cabo.But at a later meeting with Reveille, a company owned by Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth, it was decided to stop filming. ”The networks didn’t want to touch it because of the very thing that happened,” Susan Hartman, a Magnetic director said. ”They were afraid she was going to die.”Mr Sunderland claimed Mr Caloroso held ”a vendetta” against him, and had wanted to take the documentary in ”an unethical direction. He was going to try to exploit me and throw me under the bus as an irresponsible parent who knew nothing about yachting and boating.”In his CNN interview, Mr Sunderland blamed ”a rogue wave” for ending his daughter’s voyage, saying the French ocean racer Isabelle Autissier got caught by a similar rogue wave.But Autissier’s mishap occurred in the southern hemisphere summer in December 1995. Abby Sunderland’s route took her through the Roaring Forties during winter.
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