Crews work to save sick 1-year-old on boat in Pacific Ocean

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A multistage operation was under way in the Pacific Ocean to bring a 1-year-old-girl who became seriously ill on a sailboat hundreds of miles off Mexico to shore for treatment, officials said Saturday.

On Thursday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard received a distress call about the girl, who was on the Rebel Heart with her parents and a sibling about 900 miles off Mexico.

Members of an Air National Guard unit operating out of Moffett Federal Airfield in the Bay Area were dispatched, according to a spokesman.

Four members of the 129th Rescue Wing parachuted into the ocean, inflated a motorized boat and reached the 36-foot sailboat, said 2nd Lt. Roderick B. Bersamina.

The child was in stable condition; the rescuers will stay with her until they reach a doctor, Bersamina said Saturday.

The nature of the girl’s illness was not immediately known.

A Navy frigate will intercept the Rebel Heart some time Saturday.

After meeting with the frigate, “the pararescuemen and the family will be loaded on a helicopter, and they’ll fly to the most appropriate medical facility,” Bersamina said.

A “pararescueman” is a combination of a paramedic and a Navy SEAL, the spokesman said.

2 comments

    • Curious

      They are Americans sailing around the world not immigrants trying to sneak into the US. The parents, Eric and Charlotte Kaufman, are from California and were headed to the South Pacific.

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