Lots of eyes are likely turned to San Diego today. That’s because a young family is coming home after an at-sea rescue this week. According to the California Air National Guard commander who was the first to get the mayday call, rescuers reached the family just in time, saving the life of a sick baby girl.
The parents of the 1-year-old child, who also happen to have another daughter, age 3, have come in for some pretty harsh criticism from around the world because of these events. A lot of people have blasted the parents for deciding to undertake an around-the-world voyage with such small children.
But Eric and Charlotte Kaufman are not withering under the scrutiny.
They say they are confident that they embarked on their journey having done all they could to properly prepare for a safe trip.
Anyone who has done any significant sailing knows that you don’t launch on a long oceanic voyage without a lot of preparation and planning. You try to anticipate all the problems that could arise and have a plan to deal with them. But it’s not possible to cover all the bases.
If reckless or careless actions on the water do result in someone being injured or killed, those who suffer may have cause to seek compensation. But that doesn’t seem to have been the case here.
Indeed, as the National Guard commander noted in comments to the media, the Kaufmans “did everything right” after having determined just how bad the situation was.
According to reports, the family was about 1,000 miles off the Mexican coast when they lost steering capability. While in that predicament, the 1-year-old became ill with a rash, diarrhea and vomiting. So the parents sent out the S.O.S.
That call went out on Thursday. By that night, a rescue team had been airlifted to the site and emergency care was being delivered. By Sunday morning, all were aboard a navy ship headed for home.
Those who believe the family was wrong to attempt such a journey with such small children may take some comfort knowing that the family’s 36-foot sailboat has reportedly been sunk to prevent it from becoming a hazard to shipping. Sailors, though, may be mourning.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Sick baby rescued at sea set to return to San Diego with her family,” Tony Perry, April 9, 2014
Source: KNSD-TV, “Rescuers Got to Sick Baby “Just in Time:” Commander,” R. Stickney, April 9, 2014