Sick baby on sailbost inspires complex rescue mission

SAN FRANCISCO (KGTV/KPIX) – There’s progress in a mission to rescue a sick child stranded with her family in a sailboat in the Pacific, but there’s still a long way to go.

The boat is about a thousand miles from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Para-rescuers are on the sailboat, treating the baby. They’re waiting for a navy ship to arrive.

The California Air National Guard is keeping a close watch on a complex rescue mission almost a thousand miles away, off the coast of Mexico from its command center. A team of medics left Moffett Field Thursday, and parachuted into the Pacific Ocean to save baby Lyra. The 1 year old got seriously ill aboard her family’s sailboat “The Rebel Heart.”

“The baby, based on our latest update is stable, and she’s being treated for illness and so right now she’s in good condition,” said Major Brian Finnerty, Search & Rescue Director of Operations, 129th Rescue Wing.

According to their blog, Eric Kaufman and his wife Charlotte dreamed sailing around the world. They left Mexico just 2 weeks ago with their daughters, Cora and Lyra. They had plans to cross the pacific and eventually reach New Zealand.

“I think they were nervous like anybody about to go out to sea but I think they were really excited about it,” said April Moriset, Charlotte’s sister.

Moriset says Lyra broke out with a severe rash and got an infection. Their sailboat then lost power. The family made a distress call to the coast guard, and that’s when the 129th Rescue Wing was called in.

“It sounds like everyone is uncomfortable in the cramped conditions but everyone is doing fine, and it seems like everyone is still in good spirits,” said Major Finnerty.

The family is with the para-rescuers as they wait for this U.S. Navy vessel to pick them up. It’s en route from San Diego.

“There’s phone calls coming in people are like have you heard about this, I’m constantly on Facebook trying to find out when the baby gets to the hospital,” said Moriset.

The vessel is expected to meet the rebel heart Saturday night or Sunday morning.

They will bring them back to San Diego, where Lyra will then go to a hospital. In the meantime, there is another team on standby in Cabo San Lucas.

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