SAN DIEGO - The family rescued from their stranded sailboat off the coast of Mexico last week is almost home.
Four rescuers parachuted into the choppy waters of the Pacific last Thursday aiming for the drifting sailboat, Rebel Heart. On board were Eric and Charlotte Kaufman and their two young daughters. One-year-old Lyra was seriously ill.
They were about 1,000 miles off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. Communications had been lost and the boat was taking on water.
The U.S. Coast Guard, California Air National Guard and U.S. Navy all swung into action.
The Kaufmans were placed on board the guided missile frigate USS Vandegrift, which is scheduled to arrive in San Diego on Wednesday.
"I know there'll be tears and hugging and it's going to be great," said Charlotte's sister, Sariah English, who has been counting down the minutes. "I feel like a kid at Christmas. I don't know if I'll sleep tonight. It's getting closer and closer and so exciting."
Paul Mitchell and his wife have sailed around the world. He said those who brave the oceans know the risks.
"They know there are perils out there," said Mitchell. "It can be dangerous, just going down the freeway can be dangerous as well."
He had this to say regarding the criticism for putting children in jeopardy.
"People going out to sea with children," said Mitchell. "They do it all the time. It's nothing new. Children are born when people are out there cruising."
Soon though, the Kaufmans will be home.
"I don't know if I want to hug the babies or my sister or … can't leave out my brother-in-law," said English.