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Navy rescues ill child at sea: Outrage over babies on world sail in 36-ft boat

The U.S. Navy came to the rescue of a seriously ill one-year-old child, who was stranded out at sea with her parents on a 36-foot sailboat. The parents, who had two small children with them, embarked on this trip sailing around the world on this small boat. While the Navy’s efforts saved the life of this baby, people are outraged that parents would take such young children, just one and three-years-old, on such a dangerous trip. This was discussed on “Fox and Friends Weekend” on Sunday morning April 6 live.

Seriously ill 1-year-old child rescued at sea, who was sailing around the world with her parents on a sailboat.
Seriously ill 1-year-old child rescued at sea, who was sailing around the world with her parents on a sailboat.
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According to NBC News today, the San Diego couple, Eric and Charlotte Kaufman, set sail two weeks ago with their two daughters, who are just toddlers. This around the world journey in a 36-foot sailboat left them stranded about 900 miles from Cabo San Lucas when their boat lost its steering ability and began taking on water.

The USS Vandergrift made contact with the sailboat after the Kaufman couple sent out a distress signal. The parents indicated they had a seriously ill baby on board. This started a “complex” ocean rescue with the U.S. Navy to get to the boat and rescue the baby along with the stranded family.

The Vandergrift was too far out to offer immediate rescue, so they coordinated the rescue efforts to get to the baby so she could be treated. The boat, the Rebel Heart, bobbed in the high ocean surf as the U.S. Navy’s coordinating efforts sent a plane from the California National Air Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing to fly over the boat. Four Navy rescue paramedics jumped from that plane and parachuted into the ocean then made their way over to the Rebel Heart and climbed on board.

The emergency rescue guardsmen treated the baby as soon as they boarded the sailboat. The family waited for the Vandergrift to arrive today so they can be transferred to the Navy ship. The baby is doing so much better today after the Navy paramedics treated her illness.

It is not clear what the little one-year-old girl was suffering from, but she had a high fever, a large rash, vomiting and diarrhea, which can be a dangerous combination for someone this young, as the risk of dehydration rises with these symptoms.

Charlotte Kaufman had been updating a blog during their trip and she wrote back on March 11 that she and her youngest daughter, the one-year-old who was sick, had tested positive for salmonella.

The USS Vandergrift started on its way to the family to take them on board and get them home. The Kaufmans' were told they would be allowed one trip to transfer their belongings to the Vandergrift from their failing sailboat. They would be allowed to take only as much as they can carry when boarding the Navy ship. After that they must leave their boat at sea, along with anything left on board.

Fox News at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday morning reports that the USS Vandergrift has picked up the family and they are transporting them to port in San Diego. The Vandergrift is due to get the Kaufman family back into the San Diego port on Monday.

“Fox and Friends Weekend” on Sunday morning discussed these parents taking these young babies for an around the world trip on a small sailboat. It is actually tiny at 36-feet compared to the swells they could experience out on the turbulent ocean. You can see just how small the boat is from the picture above.

The parents took a risk with their children that is considered ludicrous to many who heard this story of the sick toddler at sea. Charlotte Kaufman’s sister, Sariah English, talked with her sister briefly and learned her niece was feeling better. She also said that her sister and brother-in-law have requested to stay at the Navy base hotel before making their way to New Mexico to visit English.

The question remains as to why this couple would put these babies in jeopardy on the high seas in such a small sailboat. Comments from Fox’s curvy couch today came with suggestions for the parents to do this if they want to, but leave the kids safely on land. Another comment conveyed that this was a trip the Kaufman couple should have embarked on before having kids. Thankfully the Navy was able to get to them, as this story could have had a very sad ending if they hadn't.