Sailing 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.
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, sailors from Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 49) assist in the rescue of a family with a sick infant via the ship's small boat as part of a joint U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and California Air National Guard rescue effort, Sunday, April 6, 2014. Eric and Charlotte Kaufman said their daughter Lyra's medical condition continued to improve after they boarded the San Diego-bound Vandegrift hundreds of miles off the Mexican coast so the girl could get to a medical facility. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)
This undated image provided by Sariah English shows the Rebel Heart sailboat. The boat carrying the Kaufman family became the site of a U.S. Navy rescue Sunday, April 6, 2014, after the family's small daughter, 1-year-old Lyra, became ill. U.S. sailors rescued the American family from the Rebel Heart, which broke down hundreds of miles off the Mexican coast, boarding them Sunday onto a San Diego-bound Navy ship so the girl could get medical treatment. (AP Photo/Sariah English)
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.
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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