Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Navy rescues family with sick baby from sailboat

By: Associated Press
April 6, 2014 Updated: April 6, 2014 at 3:50 pm
0
photo - This undated image provided by Sariah English shows Eric and Charlotte Kaufman with their daughters, Lyra, 1, and Cora, 3. Rescuers have stabilized the condition Lyra, with her family on a crippled sailboat hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico, and a U.S. Navy warship was headed toward the vessel, officials said Friday night, April 4, 2014. Their boat, the 36-foot Rebel Heart, was about 900 nautical miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas when they sent a satellite call for help to the U.S. Coast Guard Thursday morning saying their 1-year-old girl aboard was ill. (AP Photo/Sariah English)
This undated image provided by Sariah English shows Eric and Charlotte Kaufman with their daughters, Lyra, 1, and Cora, 3. Rescuers have stabilized the condition Lyra, with her family on a crippled sailboat hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico, and a U.S. Navy warship was headed toward the vessel, officials said Friday night, April 4, 2014. Their boat, the 36-foot Rebel Heart, was about 900 nautical miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas when they sent a satellite call for help to the U.S. Coast Guard Thursday morning saying their 1-year-old girl aboard was ill. (AP Photo/Sariah English) 

SAN DIEGO — U.S. sailors rescued an American family with an ill 1-year-old from a sailboat that broke down hundreds of miles off the Mexican coast — boarding them Sunday onto a San Diego-bound Navy ship so the girl could get medical treatment.

The baby girl, Lyra, was in stable condition at 8 a.m. Sunday when sailors helped her, her 3-year-old sister, Cora, and her parents, Charlotte and Eric Kaufman leave their sailboat and brought them aboard the USS Vandegrift.

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

The Kaufmans were two weeks into a sailing trip around the world when Lyra developed a fever and a rash covering most of her body and wasn't responding to medications. After their 36-foot sailboat lost steering and communication abilities about 900 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, they sent a satellite call for help to the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday.

Four California Air National Guard members parachuted into the water and reached the boat Thursday night. The crew stabilized the girl and stayed by her side until the Navy frigate arrived at about 1 a.m. Sunday.

Sailors waited until daylight to move the family from their inoperable sailboat, "Rebel Heart," which authorities were in the process of sinking Sunday because it was taking on water, Bena said.

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, said Charlotte Kaufman's sister, Sariah Kay English.

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.

English initially was in daily email contact with the family but realized something was wrong when the communication stopped several days ago.

Comment Policy
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.