SAN DIEGO (AP) — Navy sailors say conditions during the rescue of a family with a 1-year-old, critically ill girl were so bad that even the para-jumpers who dropped into the sea to help grew seasick as 5- to 8-foot waves crashed into the boat.
After a Navy warship delivered the Kaufman family safely to San Diego on Wednesday, the sailors described rough seas and poor visibility that prolonged the rescue for hours on Sunday.
They said the family's broken sailboat had enough fuel for about 11 hours of sailing, but it kept taking on water because of the crashing waves.
Charlotte and Eric Kaufman sent a distress call from 900 miles off the Mexican coast last Thursday when their sailboat broke down and their daughter Lyra had salmonella-like symptoms. Her 3-year-old sister was also on the boat.