Sailing Family Won't Be Charged for Baby's Rescue
Cost of rescue operation is not yet known
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 9, 2014 2:45 PM CDT
This undated file image provided by Sariah English shows the Rebel Heart sailboat.   (Uncredited)

(Newser) – It took three federal agencies, a fixed-wing aircraft, a Navy warship, and scores of personnel (including four California Air National Guard members who parachuted into the water and swam to the boat) to rescue an ill baby girl and her family from their broken down sailboat 900 miles off the Mexican coast. But the San Diego couple will not have to repay the federal government for the dramatic evacuation at sea, the agencies said yesterday. The Navy, Coast Guard, and California Air National Guard don't charge for search-and-rescue missions.

"We don't want people in trouble at sea to hesitate to call for help for fear they'll be charged for assistance," says Lt. Anna Dixon of the 11th Coast Guard District, which oversaw the operation. She says helping at sea is a time-honored tradition and a requirement of international maritime convention. A California Air National Guard spokesman adds that crews improve their skills every time they carry out a rescue operation and that above all, "you can't put a price on a life, and there's no discrimination of who you save." The cost of the total operation is not known yet. The Kaufman family defended their trip in a statement this week.

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Apr 10, 2014 1:24 AM CDT
Well, back in the 1850's parents would take their kids in wagons with a team of horses and try to cross the plains. That never turned out well either. Always a bummer to find out that mommy and daddy are stupid. And it was the horses that were a bad idea.
Ezekiel 25:17
Apr 9, 2014 10:57 PM CDT
You bill them because they had to take out insurance to go on this journey. They turn the $1.5M bill over to the insurance and minus the deductible the government gets some of its money back, if only the cost of the fuel involved.
Apr 9, 2014 7:26 PM CDT
The fact that the cost of the rescue mission is even a story pisses me off. What money pinching, insensitive moron even brought up the subject? As far as the parents being to blame for taking a one year old on this adventure goes; check out the story about the daycare in Florida. So I guess it's the parents fault for using daycare in the first place? The world can be as dangerous as it is beautiful and sometimes s*** happens that no one has any control over. You can either get in it and enjoy it while you can or sit at home and bitch about the people who do. If you are willing to put a price on the life of others then you probably find little value in your own...