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San Diego Family With Sick Baby On Sailboat Requires Military Rescue (Video)

A San Diego family thanked the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and California National Guard after requiring a military rescue when their 1-year-old daughter became seriously ill aboard their sailboat.

CBS News reports the Kaufmans had planned to sail around the world with their two small daughters. Two weeks into the trip, little Lyra became seriously ill with a fever and rash:

Then, their 36-foot sailboat, the Rebel Heart, lost steering and communication abilities about 900 miles off Mexico. They sent a satellite call for help to the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday.

Along with the Coast Guard, the Navy and California Air National Guard sprang into action to find the Kaufmans. When the Rebel Heart was located, four Air National Guard members from the 129th pararescuemen parachuted into the ocean, boarded the sailboat, and provided emergency medical aid to Lyra.


The USS Vandegrift took part in the rescue mission, and the family is now safely aboard the frigate, now en route to San Diego.

The Kaufmans defended their decision to sail around the world with two small children in a statement released by the U.S. Navy:

"First, we would like to express how grateful we are to the men and women of the Coast Guard, California Air National Guard and Navy who rescued our family, especially the pararescuemen and crew of USS Vandegrift. We are very thankful to be safe and well. We also appreciate all the concern, thoughts and prayers of everyone back home for the health of our daughter Lyra. She is doing well now, and her medical condition continues to improve.

"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 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, and while we are disappointed that we lost our sailboat and our home, we remain grateful for those who came to our aid and those family and friends who continue to encourage and support us."

Thank you.
What do you think of the Kaufmans' decision to sail around the world with such small children? Have your say in our comments section.