Jessica Watson's safe arrival is seen by many as vindication for those who supported her from the beginning, against those curmudgeons who criticised the venture as dangerously foolhardy from the first. One critic in particular - no names, no pack-drill but I am talking about me - noted that her attempt was somewhere between an "admirable endeavour, insane and … admirably insane".I think Jessica is a brave girl, but what if she hadn't been successful? What if her boat capsized and she drowned? What if she were kidnapped by pirates who then proceed to rape and torture her and then demand ransom via the internet? The public would be outraged that parents let their children do this and laws would be implemented that protected children.
It is all well and good that Jessica is safe but young children may see this and be inspired to do something similar, and just as a coin flip will eventually turn up tails if you continue to flip it so too a voyage around the world by a child will eventually end in disaster.