Navy Rescues Ill Toddler Off Coast of Mexico

Family was on round-the-world sail when 1-year-old became sick

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 6, 2014 7:28 AM CDT | Updated Apr 6, 2014 11:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – American sailors rescued a family with an ill 1-year-old baby from a disabled sailboat hundreds of miles off the Mexican coast and today were headed to San Diego to get the girl medical treatment. The girl, along with her family, were helped onto an inflatable raft and then taken aboard the USS Vandegrift at 8am today. The baby girl was in stable condition. Charlotte and Eric Kaufman were two weeks into their trip to sail the world when their daughter, Lyra, developed a fever and a rash covering most of her body and wasn't responding to medications. Then, their 36-foot sailboat lost steering and communication abilities about 900 miles off Mexico. They sent a satellite call for help to the US Coast Guard on Thursday.

The California Air National Guard dispatched four rescuers, who parachuted into the water and reached the disabled vessel. The team was able to stabilize the girl and pointed the sailboat toward Mexico, the 129th Rescue Wing said in a statement. The Kaufmans "were very overcautious. They're not new at sailing," says Charlotte Kaufman's sister. Unfortunately, "sickness sometimes happens."

In this image provided by the U.S. Navy the USS Vandegrift is underway Oct. 15, 2012 in the South China Sea. The U.S. Navy warship reached the crippled sailboat hundreds of miles off the Mexican coast...   (MC3 Paul Kelly)
Eric and Charlotte Kaufman with daughters, Lyra, 1, and Cora, 3. Rescuers have stabilized Lyra, on a crippled sailboat hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico, and a Navy warship had reached them.   (Provided photo)
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