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Sailing family rescued at sea speak out about being 'bad parents'

Family Rescued At Sea Speak Out About Being 'Bad Parents'

The Kaufman family made headlines back in April after their 3,000 mile sailing trip was cut short when their 1-year-old daughter became sick and the entire family had to be rescued at sea, and they made their first TV appearance this week on Good Morning America.

Eric and Charlotte Kaufman came home to news headlines like this one from the Indy Star, which said they were bad parents for bringing their small children along with them on the trip.

Now Eric and Charlotte are finally sitting down with television crews to set the record straight. They spoke to KGTV. Charlotte said, "I'm not a bad mom," and Eric agreed. "You are not a bad mom. You're a great mom."

Charlotte continued, "When people don't understand something, I think it's much easier to speak negatively about it."

The Kaufman's and their two daughters, Cora and Lyra, were in the midst of their sailing trip from Mexico to New Zealand on their sailing ship the Rebel Heart when 1-year-old Lyra suddenly became sick, 900 miles out at sea.

Charlotte explains, "Kids get sick. So, when her first symptom showed up, 'OK, you know, kids get fevers. You know, let's not freak out."

So Lyra's parents began giving her some medication they had on board. But she ended up just getting more sick. ABC reports physicians now believe she most likely had either salmonella or typhoid.

Eric says, "We grabbed the emergency position indicator beacon and we activated it. And then we sat there."

Just hours later, four pararescuemen from the California Air National Guard parachuted in from a plane to rescue the family.

The rescuers and the Kaufman family were then moved to the USS Vandegrift. The family arrived back home in San Diego on April 9th.

But now months later, the Kaufman's say they're planning to sue the provider of the satellite phone they brought with them on their oceanic voyage ABC is reporting.

Eric and Charlotte say their satellite phone just didn't work, effectively cutting them off from anyone on land. That's why they were forced to use the indicator beacon to call the Coast Guard.

They plan to put any money they make from the lawsuit into buying a new boat for themselves - the Rebel Heart was sunk after the family was rescued - and towards paying taxpayers back the money it cost to send the Coast Guard to rescue their family.

Which definitely cost a pretty penny. U-T San Diego reported in April California taxpayers footed the $663,000 bill for the rescue.

KGTV did get in touch with an employee from the satellite phone provider who said the reason the Kaufman's phone didn't work was because the phone was turned off after a billing issue occurred.

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bloveday36 July 10 2014 at 1:44 PM

Stupid people they should have to pay for all the expenses of their rescue -
true signs of no responsibility -

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10 replies
RiverBoatQueen July 10 2014 at 1:48 PM

You do NOT take such small babies out to sea the way this family did. Not only did they endanger themselves and rescue personnel, they don't understand how wrong their decision making skills are. They stick to their guns that they are "Good parents." My god. Good parents don't put themselves in peril in the manner that they did. Someone needs to send them to parenting classes.

Flag Reply +39 rate up
11 replies
raidrmik67 July 10 2014 at 1:53 PM

A ONE year old out on the ocean for weeks on end? STUPID! You can't blame the satellite phone provider when you didn't pay the bill BUT the bottom line is this was a pretty stupid stunt! The mom say's you can't judge them because we don't know the circumstances? A ONE year old out on the open sea for week's at a time? Is there any other circumstance I'm missing here? Why couldn't they just wait until the kids got older? Then they administered medications without a doctors recommendation? They're lucky this child didn't die.

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8 replies
Gina July 10 2014 at 1:58 PM

Educated and respondsible parents don't drag their children out to sea for long periods of time. Had that been a sever emergency and the child didn't get help in time, they would be back on land for a funeral and possible murder charges. That's neglect to be so far from help with small children!

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5 replies
hwlndrbrt July 10 2014 at 1:58 PM

To be sure this is accurately and fairly understood, the satellite phone was disconnected by the phone company because of a billing issue. So the family embarks on a sailing adventure anyway, with kids in tow. Then when there is a crisis, the family depends on our military for their rescue, no matter what the cost. The monies will be paid back per this family (I'd get THAT in writing), with enough left over for another boating adventure sometime in the future. So, in closing, the adventure went belly up, our military got an unplanned training exercise, and now there's enough criticism to write a book. In the future: be more prepared and don't endanger the rest of us with foolishness. No more kids might help too!

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5 replies
liontwin33 July 10 2014 at 2:03 PM

Have been boating all my long life, and it still amazes me how a lot of boating idiots will attempt to justify their actions. These parents are morons who put no serious thought about taking a child that young on a trip like that. Way too much salt water got into the space between their ears.

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1 reply
Susan liontwin33 July 10 2014 at 4:55 PM

I'm often amazed at 'boaters' who can't even back their boats into a slip!

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2 replies
liontwin33 Susan July 10 2014 at 5:09 PM

Since I'm a volunteer "marine" park host at one of our island state parks (Blake Island - Puget Sound - Washington state, I've seen it all over the years (on the sound for over 54 years). Half can't even figure out how to get their boat to the dock for a side tie. I belong to the United States Power and Sail squadron, and we teach the boating safety courses (like the Coastguard auxillery). I would bet the family farm that not one member would have condoned the plans of these two idiots (the parents). They should have been procecuted for "child endangerment".

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mark and sheri Susan July 10 2014 at 11:19 PM

How about those who can't back into a panty girdle! I Know! Horrible Joke, but I just couldn't resist!

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Mike Hartnett July 10 2014 at 2:12 PM

Maybe not bad parents. Just stupid. First off, a 31 ft boat is not that big. In addition, if you want to sail around the world why don't you wait until your kids will be old enough to remember it. Stupid and selfish.

Flag Reply +23 rate up
1 reply
Susan Mike Hartnett July 10 2014 at 4:45 PM

Indeed. a 31 ft boat is nothing. Selfish, self-absorbed, immature people who bred and don't want to let those kids get in the way of their life.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
guso July 10 2014 at 1:55 PM

What nonsense taking a one year old child out like that

Flag Reply +19 rate up
reberley July 10 2014 at 2:03 PM

Fifteen minutes of fame at our expense and the expense of their children.

Flag Reply +19 rate up
frmthebookofrage July 10 2014 at 1:50 PM

Idiots.....says it all

Flag Reply +19 rate up
2 replies
Nancy frmthebookofrage July 10 2014 at 4:04 PM

Still name calling from the playground?

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2 replies
thedanemom Nancy July 10 2014 at 4:24 PM

Idiot means stupid person, and stupid perfectly describes their actions.
What would you call them ? Parents of the year ?

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mollymguire Nancy July 11 2014 at 10:58 AM

Not name calling, just an accurate description.

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Susan frmthebookofrage July 10 2014 at 4:56 PM

Exactly. And contrary to what 'Nancy' says, the term idiot means stupid person and these people were stupid. Facts are tacts.

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1 reply
liontwin33 Susan July 10 2014 at 5:16 PM

Why they were not procecuted for "child endangerment" is beyond me. That is exactly what those two idiots (and I find that term does not degrade them enough) did with their children. And in a boat that size? (been on Puget Sound in WA and our Canadian waters to the North for over 54 years), they had a death wish and escaped with help (this time).

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