Jeff Casher, Bill Bennett
Jeff Casher, left, and Bill Bennett, technical support staff members for the Sunderlands, talk to reporters outside the family's home in Thousand Oaks after they had heard that searchers had contacted Abby Sunderland. (Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press / June 11, 2010)

A spotter jet over the Indian Ocean late Thursday made contact with 16-year-old Abby Sunderland, the Thousand Oaks solo sailor who was adrift in rough seas and heavy winds in her quest to circumnavigate the globe, a spokesman for the teen's family said.