Controversy over family's rescue at sea

Family due back in San Diego on Wednesday

SAN DIEGO - The family with a sick 1-year-old is due back in San Diego on Wednesday after they were rescued at sea last week, but the rescue created a storm of controversy on social media.  

The parents, Eric and Charlotte Kaufman, have been criticized as well as supported over the issue of whether a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old should be on the open ocean.  

"It was irresponsible from the start," wrote one person on the 10News Facebook page.

Another wrote, "I hope they (the parents) pay the bill, not taxpayers."

Sariah English, Charlotte's sister, said, "I don't have a problem with what they're doing. I know them to be devoted parents."  

At Downwind Marine, a division of San Diego Marine Exchange in Point Loma, veteran long distance sailor Chris Frost told 10News, "My guess is that if they weren't trying to save the life of their child, he would have either fixed the boat or sailed back to Mexico."

Frost said the couple bought gear at the store a year and a half ago as they prepped in the Sea of Cortez for the trip.  

The family was picked up by the San Diego-based USS Vandegrift which was already at sea for training.  

The initial rescue was done by pararescuemen with the 129th Rescue Wing of the California Air National Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which is acting as the maritime coordinator, said in a statement, "In keeping with a long standing maritime tradition and law, it does not charge for rescues at sea." 

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