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Navy Ship Rescues Sick Toddler And Family From Sailboat Off Mexican Coast

The USS Vandegrift (Photo by usnavy via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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A Navy warship today completed the rescue of a toddler who fell ill and her family while they were sailing hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico.San Diegans Charlotte and Eric Kaufman were trying to sail across the Pacific Ocean with their 3-year-old daughter Cora and 1-year-old Lyra when Lyra became sick, USA Today reported. The couple sent a distress signal Thursday because Lyra had a fever and rash covering most of her body.

The frigate USS Vandegrift reached the 36-foot Rebel Heart on Sunday and took the whole family on board to return them to San Diego.

The Air National Guard Team had responded to the family’s distress signal Thursday night, parachuting into the ocean and inflating a boat to reach the family and provide immediate medical attention. They reported Lyra’s condition had stabilized by Saturday but that she needed medical treatment, staying with the family and providing care.

The sailboat had been nearly 1,000 miles from Cabo San Lucas and was without steering capabilities and communication abilities, according to the National Guard.

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Charlotte Kaufman had been writing posts on the couple’s blog that at first seemed upbeat but then complained of constant nausea. On day eight, she posted:

“I think this may be the stupidest thing we have ever done. ‘Stupid’ is the number one word that resonates throughout my day as we tick the slow minutes away to the kids' bed times each night.”

Later, she posted more positively:

“Ultimately, how many people will ever experience the feeling of being surrounded by waves and wind, as close as an arm's reach away from them, for weeks and weeks? It is a difficult, self-imposed isolation that is completely worth it. Okay, maybe still a tiny bit stupid, but worth it.”