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." (Read more sailing stories.)