Sister of family rescued at sea responds to critics

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO – The aunt of a 1-year-old girl who was rescued at sea with her family is defending the San Diego family’s plan to sail around the world with their young children.

The Kaufman’s have built their life on water and lived in San Diego’s Sun Harbor for 7 years, said Sariah English, sister of family that needed to be rescued about 1,000 miles west of Cabo San Lucas by U.S. Coast Guard.


Eric Kaufman holding Lyra and Charlotte Kaufman holding Cora

English said her sister and her family had been planning and preparing to sail around the world the entire time.

Eric and Charlotte Kaufman along with their toddlers were in the midst of their world trip when it came to an end late last week when their youngest became ill with a rash and diarrhea and wasn’t responding to medication.

Officials said the toddler is now in stable condition after members of the Air National Guard rescued the family from their 32-foot sailboat.

Critics put the couple’s parenting into question saying the idea to take small children on a sailboat trip around the world was a mistake.

“We live in a country where we are entitled to raise our children how we choose,” said English, defending her family’s decision. “I’ve been with my sister on her boat, I know what kind of parent she is, I know what kind of husband and father Eric.”

The family is expected to arrive in San Diego Wednesday.

Rescuers said the sailboat, named the Rebel Heart, was sunk after it lost it’s steering and became unsalvageable.

“They were able to pull three bags off the Rebel Heart and that’s all they own right now,” said English.

The U.S. Coast Guard said they have no plans of charging the Kaufman family for the rescue expenses.


  • mrgdogncbd

    I wouldn't question their parenting skills, I would be more interested in his seamanship ability, to lose your steering on a vessel with no storm present.things like steering ,motor ,sail ,safety items , communication are pretty critical and you would want check an double check their sea worthiness prior to departure.

  • Esco

    They're lucky the radio still worked. It was a dumb idea no matter how you shine a light on it.
    At least it gave the rescuers confirmation on their rescue procedures, I'll try and "salvage" that from this.

Comments are closed.