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The parents who took their two toddlers with them on an attempted journey around the globe will not be charged for the rescue mission that took three government agencies to organize.
Eric and Charlotte Kaufman of San Diego made it 900 miles off the Mexico coast when they sent a distress call. They were encountering rough waters, which caused their 1-year-old, Lyra, to get sea sick. They also brought their 3-year-old, Cora, along for the ride. The Kaufman’s planned on chronicling their journey with a blog.
According to KTVU, the three organizations that organized the rescue - the Navy, Coast Guard and Air National Guard - will not force the family to pay for the operation. Four Air National Guard had to parachute to their boat, where they were able to stabilize Lyra until the Navy arrived to take them home on Sunday.
The Kaufmans have been widely criticized by parents and experienced sailors who can’t understand what they were thinking by taking their toddlers with them. Matt Rutherford, who has sailed solo across seas several times, told The New York Times that he would never take a child under 2 with him. “There’s some real risks here, and you bring somebody else along and you’re taking the risk for them, too,” he said. “That’s a serious question.”
As for the Kaufmans, they issued a statement thanking their rescuers. “We also appreciate all the concern, thoughts and prayers of everyone back home for the health of our daughter Lyra. She is doing well now, and her medical condition continues to improve,” they said.