Please select your home edition
Edition
X-Yachts AUS X4 728 - 2

Two separate remote baby rescues sure to raise questions

by Lee Mylchreest on 6 Apr 2014
Babies on board - it’s the Southern Ocean on Anasazi .. .
It was already a week of rescues. Now the rescue of two babies from sailing boats, one because of illness in the Pacific and one because of a dismasting near Cape Horn, will raise questions - about the foolhardiness of taking small children sailing in remote locations and the expense of their rescues - by all but the most inveterate of cruising sailors.

In the Southern Ocean, two boats which Sail-World Cruising had previously featured were both dismasted in the same storm in Cape Horn waters.

Andrew Halcrow was on his second attempt to circumnavigate the world solo (see Sail-World story) when he was dismasted and James Burwick and his wife Somiro Sao with their three young children (see Sail-World story) on their Open 50(swapped for their previous Open 40) Anasazi Girl were dismasted in the same storm, but in a location too remote for a helicopter rescue. They were rescued by a Chilean Navy ship.

While these rescues have good conclusions as far as the safety of life is concerned, back in the Pacific, the rescue is still going on of a very sick baby, one of the children on board Rebel Heart, a 36ft yacht being sailed by Californian couple Eric and Charlotte Kauffman with their two children.

The Kauffmans, experienced sailors with a long-time ambition to sail around the world, departed last month, like many others before them, with their small children on board, to achieve their dreams of a circumnavigation. They were sailing to the Marquesas, the nearest port of call in French Polynesia.



These dreams were smashed when 13-month-old Lyra developed a severe rash, a high fever and vomiting 900 miles off the coast of Mexico. They radioed a distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard. An MC-130P Combat Shadow was sent to the scene and four parachuting medics leapt into the ocean and clambered aboard the 36-foot sailing boat.

If necessary, a helicopter rescue of the infant was planned and a complicated fuel supply procedure was put in place for airborne refuelling of the helicopter to reach the remote sailing boat. However, the medics on board have since reported that, after the administration of antibiotics, the health of the baby had improved, and the sailing boat, which had previously been disabled, was now heading for a meeting with a U.S. Navy frigate, which will bring the family back to shore. The parachuting medics will remain with the family.

Children are frequently found on circumnavigating yachts, and the incidence of dramas such as described above has been almost non-existent. The children on board these many long-range cruising boats are always reported as thriving under the personal supervision of the school-work and the healthy inspiring environment of life in many different lands and cultures. Two rescues of babies in a short period of time, however, is bound to cause consternation among the sailing fraternity and criticism among others.

Positive supportive letter from Reader:

Sender: B Grant

Message: We, as experienced off shore sailors APPLAUD these two families for their lifestyle and determination! One error though, James Burwick and Somira Sao have THREE small children aboard, a 5 yr old, a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old. Their boat, a fast racing machine, was dismasted in a storm but was towed into Puerto Williams, Chile where they are waiting for a replacement mast so they can continue their journey. Both of these boats with rescued families with babies were well equipped, the parents well organized and experienced and we wish them well in their continued adventures!!


Doyle Sails NZ - Never Look BackHarken AUS Reflex 660x82Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1

Related Articles

Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.II)
We looked at how Grant Pellew became the MD here in Australia, and how they rigorously go about testing their gear In Part One of getting to know Harken, we looked at how Grant Pellew became the MD here in Australia, and how they rigorously go about testing their gear. We also looked at some of the other brands Harken distributes in Australia and so we move on to the last category.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
Amel - Do you fit the bill?
Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 It is certainly an interesting set of criterion. Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 and make them a definitive part of the quintessential bluewater cruiser armada. We’ll come to all of those in due course, but firstly we’ll tackle the hero image and why in so many ways, this explains, so, so much.
Posted on 21 Sep
Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.I)
You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. So if you were going to be the person at the top in Australia, it would be best for you to have immersed yourself in sailing from an early age. When you grew up, being one of the technical service team would be more than a handy apprenticeship, as it were.
Posted on 19 Sep
Brookes and Gatehouse Videos with Knut Frostad
Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos with Knut Frostad, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former CEO. See him talk about sailing in general, the B&G product choices and placement he made for his own boat, and then why he loves his Outremer 5X.
Posted on 8 Sep
Boat Books of the Month - How to Read Water and False Flags
How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to Sea & False Flags: Disguised German Raiders of World War II. This month the Boatbooks Australia: Boat Books of the Month are How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea and False Flags: Disguised German Raiders of World War II.
Posted on 6 Sep
Soft Padeyes – light, strong and versatile
Several types of soft padeyes are now available and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel pa Several types of soft padeyes are now available on the market and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel padeyes. They all capitalise on the incredible strength to weight ratio and abrasion resistance of Dyneema® which offers a reliable, robust, flexible and safe termination.
Posted on 6 Sep
The X Factor starring X-Yachts
X-Yachts do indeed have plenty to sing about. X-Yachts do indeed have plenty to sing about. Testament to that is the three-year-old Xp38 on display at the recent Sydney International Boat Show still looked brand new. This was no mooring minder either, but rather a boat that had gone up to Hamilton Island Race Week for each of those years and campaigned hard.
Posted on 31 Aug
The C Beetle Project
Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Such is Phil Smidmore’s tale of Mick Miller and if I could be so bold as to implore you to read, then I know your life will be the better for it!
Posted on 30 Aug
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug