Okay, my point is that we shouldn't use outcome to judge whether an activity is a good idea or not and whether someone had the experience and knowledge to undertake it. Let's use the driving example. There are plenty of news stories about young children who take the family car for a joy ride, and manage without harming themselves or anyone else. I don't think anyone would suggest we should lower the driving limit to age 6 or 8 though. Just because this girl survived without injury doesn't mean it was a good idea to sail those water at this time of year, or that she was well-prepared and experienced enough for the excursion. The fact that she survived really is meaningless. I can play chicken on the highway and come out unscathed, but it's still not a good idea.
I agree that the criticisms about whether it was a good idea to be in the Indian Ocean in June apply regardless of age, except to the extent that she was initially fueled by a desire to be the youngest solo sailor. The fact that her parents were shopping a reality show for television at the same time makes me pretty skeptical about the whole thing too. All in all, I question the judgement of everyone involved, including the 16 y.o.
I also agree that there is a difference between a 16 y.o. solo sailor and a 13 y.o. I continue to be concerned about the publicity-seeking nature of these ventures though, regardless of age of the participants.
As for motivations, etc. I don't trust that the media gives us the full story so I try not to judge.