A sick baby girl and her family were rescued from their sailboat by U.S. sailors after the boat the family was traveling in broke down 900 miles off the coast of Mexico over the weekend.
The Associated Press reported that as of Sunday morning, 1-year-old Lyra Kaufman
was in stable condition after she and her sister Cora and parents Eric and Charlotte Kaufman were boarded onto the USS Vandegrift bound for San Diego.
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The Kaufmans reportedly sent a satellite call from their 36-foot sailboat on Thursday night, informing U.S. Coast Guard authorities that Lyra needed medical attention after developing a fever and rash and wasn’t responding to medicine for an unknown illness.
The girl had contracted salmonella poisoning prior to the family leaving for the trip but had been cleared by doctors before the family began what was supposed to be a journey around the world, the AP said. They were headed toward New Zealand.
Four members of the California Air National Guard parachuted to the family’s boat, Rebel Heart, and were able to stabilize Lyra. They then waited with the family whose boat was damaged and taking on water. A Navy crew was able to get the family off the vessel Sunday morning and head back to the U.S. where they are expected to arrive in San Diego by the middle of this week.
The Kaufmans released a statement while aboard the USS Vandegrift, defending their decision to take their children on the trip that began in March.
"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," according to the statement.
"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," the Kaufmans said.
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