Air Guardsmen Help Rescue Sick Girl at Sea

The family of a one-year-old girl who grew seriously ill on the family’s sailboat in the Pacific Ocean is now aboard the USS Vandegrift, a Navy frigate, transiting to San Diego, according to a Navy release. On April 3, four pararescuemen from the California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing parachuted to the aid of the girl as the family found itself about 900 nautical miles west of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, according to a unit release. They stayed with the family and tended to the girl, deciding to stay with her until she reached a medical facility capable of treating her. A planned helicopter rescue was subsequently called off as the girl’s condition stabilized, reported the San Jose Mercury News. The Navy then dispatched the Vandegrift to retrieve the San Diego-based family, whose 36-foot-long sailboat, the Rebel Heart, had lost power and was unsteerable. The family left Mexico on March 20, headed for Polynesia to fulfill a longtime goal of sailing around the world.