MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) – Para-rescuers from the 129th Rescue Wing based out of Moffett Field reached a sailboat off the coast of Mexico to begin treating a seriously ill toddler Friday. Meanwhile, it might take up to another day for a U.S. Navy rescue ship to arrive.

The California National Guard is keeping a close watch from its Moffett Field command center on the complex rescue mission almost a thousand miles away.

A team of medics from the 129th Rescue Wing left Thursday, and parachuted into the Pacific Ocean to save baby Lyra.  The 1-year-old became 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,” 129th Rescue Wing Major Brian Finnerty, Search & Rescue Director of Operations told KPIX 5 on Friday.

According to their blog, Eric Kaufman and his wife Charlotte dreamed of sailing around the world. The family left Mexico about two weeks ago with their daughters Cora and Lyra. The family had plans to cross the Pacific and eventually reach New Zealand.

The Rebel  Heart, a 36-foot Hans Christian sloop. (Credit The Rebel Heart Facebook Page

The Rebel Heart, a 36-foot Hans Christian sloop. (Credit The Rebel Heart Facebook Page

“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 said Lyra broke out with a severe rash and got an infection. Their sailboat also 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 seems like everyone is still in good spirits,” Finnerty said.

The family is with the para-rescuers as they wait for the Navy vessel from San Diego to pick them up.

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

According to officials, the Navy vessel is expected to reach the Rebel Heart sometime late Saturday or early Sunday. Rescuers plan to take everyone on board back to San Diego and take Lyra to a hospital for treatment.

A second rescue team has been put on standby at Cabo San Lucas in the event anything goes wrong or if the baby’s condition worsens.

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