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


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.


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