Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Navy, Coast Guard and Air National Guard Rescue Sick Infant off Sailboat

APSailboatBaby1

SAN DIEGO (AP) — With their 1-year-old daughter improving after a U.S. Navy ocean rescue, her parents defended their decision to sail with two young children on a trip around the world aboard a 36-foot sailboat.

The child who fell ill during the voyage and her family were heading to San Diego aboard the warship where she can receive further medical treatment after their rescue Sunday from their stalled sailboat hundreds of miles off the Mexican coast.

"We understand there are those who question our decision to sail with our family, but please know that this is how our family has lived for seven years, and when we departed on this journey more than a year ago, we were then and remain today confident that we prepared as well as any sailing crew could," the San Diego couple Eric and Charlotte Kaufman said in a statement from the USS Vandegrift.

"The ocean is one of the greatest forces of nature, and it always has the potential to overcome those who live on or near it. We are proud of our choices and our preparation," the statement said.

The Kaufmans, their 1-year-old daughter Lyra and her 3-year-old sister, Cora, had started across the Pacific in March when the baby girl developed a fever and a rash covering most of her body and wasn't responding to medications. They sent a satellite call for help to the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday after their 36-foot sailboat Rebel Heart lost steering and communication abilities about 900 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Four California Air National Guard members parachuted into the water and reached the boat Thursday night. The crew stabilized the girl, stayed by her side and then hopped on an inflatable boat with the family to board the USS Vandegrift.


The frigate was expected to arrive in San Diego midweek, Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Barry Bena said.

Authorities decided to sink the Rebel Heart because it was taking on water, Bena said.

Charlotte Kaufman's sister, Sariah Kay English, posted on her Facebook page that the family took only what they could carry from the broken boat.

The Kaufmans said in the statement they were disappointed to lose their sailboat they called home.

It was still not immediately known what illness the girl may have had.

Before the family left for the trip, Lyra had salmonella poisoning, but doctors cleared her to travel after she was healthy again, English said.

When her sister first mentioned plans to sail with two young children, English recalled, "I thought it was nuts."

But English said the couple was always careful. Eric Kaufman is a Coast Guard-licensed captain who introduced sailing to Charlotte Kaufman during one of their early dates.

"They were not going into this blind. I knew they were doing this wisely," English said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



RELATED ARTICLES

Collapse at Washington Watergate Garage

One person was injured when three stories of the parking garage collapsed.

Nepal Airport Closed to Large Aircraft

Large planes cause runway damage forcing authorities to halt specific aircraft from landing in Kathmandu.

More Rural Hospitals Closing

A growing number of facilities across the country face growing difficulties.

Milwaukee Launches Community Paramedic Program

Pilot program with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee looks at follow-up care.

Cherokee Nation EMS Paramedic Training Named Top in Industry

Program is first and only tribe to receive accreditation from Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Colorado Residents to Benefit in Ambulance Contract Split

Change in contract for Colorado Springs is seen a way for faster response times and increased funds.

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers