Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published April 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM | Page modified April 7, 2014 at 3:31 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (15)
  • Print

Baby improving after ocean rescue by US Navy

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.


Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
I watched this event play out last night on national news on TV and my first reaction... MORE
Eric and Charlotte Kaufman said Sunday they remain confident they were prepared for the... MORE
These parents are complete morons; narcissistic to boot. I think it's great when adu... MORE

advertising

SAN DIEGO —

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.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►