UK & World News

  • 6 April 2014, 22:04

Frogmen Jump Out Of Plane To Help Sick Baby

A US Navy warship and parachuting frogmen were deployed to help rescue a baby who was very unwell during a family boat trip around the world.

Four men from the California Air National Guard, carrying medical gear and other supplies, jumped out of a military transport plane into the Pacific Ocean hundreds of miles off the Mexican coast.

They inflated a dinghy which they used to get to Charlotte and Eric Kaufman's 36ft-long stricken sailboat and then treated and stabilised one-year-old daughter Lyra.

The rescuers stayed on board their vessel, Rebel Heart, which has steering and communication systems problems, and were keeping watch on Lyra until the frigate USS Vandegrift transferred them to shore.

The rescuers planned to stay with her until she reached a hospital.

The Kaufmans, including Lyra's three-year-old sister Cora, were about 900 miles off Mexico when they sent a satellite ping for help to the US Coast Guard on Thursday about her illness.

Lyra had developed a fever and a rash covering most of her body and was not responding to medications.

USS Vandegrift then travelled at nearly 30mph to reach the stricken boat which then headed to San Diego after picking up the family. Lyra was in a stable condition.

The Kaufmans were two weeks into a journey bound for the South Pacific islands and eventually New Zealand.

Before they left, Lyra had salmonella poisoning, but doctors cleared her to travel after she was healthy again, said Mrs Kaufman's sister.

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