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Coast Guard Will Not Charge Family With Sick Child For Ocean Rescue

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SAN DIEGO (CBS SF) — The U.S. Coast Guard will not charge a San Diego family rescued in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after their baby daughter got sick.

Charlotte and Eric Kaufman were two weeks into a round-the-world sailing trip when their daughter, Lyra, became sick and didn’t respond to medications.

The family’s 36-foot sailboat also became disabled and lost communication abilities about 900 miles off Mexico.

They made satellite call for help to the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday. The 129th Rescue Wing Air National Guard team from Moffett Field helped in the rescue.

The Kaufman’s received some backlash following the rescue operation but they defended their trip, saying they were prepared for the journey and were proud of the choices they made.

The child is now recovering in stable condition.

The family safely boarded the USS Vandegrift frigate around 8 a.m. from their sailboat Sunday morning , according to a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Sailors were medically evaluating the family aboard the Vandegrift, which was heading back toward San Diego, according to the Coast Guard.

A team of four pararescuemen based out of Moffett Field parachuted into the open ocean around 8 p.m. Thursday and reached the family’s sailboat, where they provided medical aid to the infant and helped turn the disabled boat around, according to Air National Guard officials.

The four Air National Guardsmen were also brought aboard the Navy ship along with the family during Sunday morning’s rescue.

The family had recently left San Diego for a sailing trip across the Pacific Ocean, according to a website documenting their travels, www.therebelheart.com.

The family was set to return back to San Diego on Wednesday.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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