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Sunday, April 6, 2014 - 12:12am
(CNN) -- A multistage operation is under way in the Pacific Ocean to bring a 1-year-old-girl who became seriously ill on a sailboat hundreds of miles off Mexico to shore for treatment, officials said Saturday.
On Thursday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard received a distress call about the girl, who was on the Rebel Heart with her parents and a sibling about 900 miles off Mexico.
According to their blogs, Eric Kaufman and his wife, Charlotte, had plans to cross the Pacific and had left Mexico two weeks ago with their daughters Cora and 1-year-old Lyra, reports CNN affiliate KGTV. The family lives in San Diego.
Members of an Air National Guard unit operating out of Moffett Federal Airfield in the Bay Area were dispatched, according to a spokesman.
Four members of the 129th Rescue Wing parachuted into the ocean, inflated a motorized boat and reached the 36-foot sailboat, said 2nd Lt. Roderick B. Bersamina.
The child is in stable condition; the rescuers will stay with her until they reach a doctor, Bersamina said Saturday.
Officials said they can't give details about the illness, but said, "the family is in good spirits."
A Navy frigate will intercept the Rebel Heart some time Saturday.
After meeting with the frigate, "the pararescuemen and the family will be loaded on a helicopter, and they'll fly to the most appropriate medical facility," Bersamina said.
A "pararescueman" is a combination of a paramedic and a Navy SEAL, the spokesman said