They almost became the modern Swiss Family Robinson. Eric and Charlotte Kaufman and their daughters Cora, 3, and Lyra, 1, were rescued 900 miles off the coast of Mexico on Sunday, en route to New Zealand, after they lost their ability to steer their 36-foot sailboat, Rebel Heart. To make matters worse, Lyra was sick with a fever and a rash, just weeks after she had been treated for salmonella.
Now, Eric and Charlotte might wish they were back in the middle of nowhere. While the couple has their supporters, a bewildering array of people are angry with them for a variety of reasons, and are speaking out, according to The New York Times. The rumblings include that they shouldn't have brought two small children on a long sea voyage, they should have been more prepared, and they should pay the bill for being rescued by the California Air National Guard, U.S. Navy, and Coast Guard, etc. etc.
Perfect strangers are leaving comments on Rebel Heart's Facebook page, and even Charlotte's brother, James Moriset, is publicly criticizing them, telling NBC San Diego: "I saw this coming — I saw the potential for every bit of it. I don't understand what they were thinking to begin with. I'm sorry, I don't even take my kids in a car ride that would be too dangerous, and it's like taking them out into the big ocean?" And their Navy rescue ship doesn't even arrive back in San Diego until Wednesday.
So far, the Kaufmans aren't letting the critics get to them — though they are sad about their scuttled boat. They released a statement that read in part, "We are proud of our choices and our preparation, and while we are disappointed that we lost our sailboat and our home, we remain grateful for those who came to our aid and those family and friends who continue to encourage and support us."