Photo courtesy USCG
ENGLEWOOD (FOX 13) - The Coast Guard said it has located a debris field during the search for a father and his three teenage children who were missing on a sailboat off the coast of Sarasota County.
Officials said the debris included a tarp, six life jackets, water bottles, a basketball, and one or two shoes. The items are believed to be connected to the missing sailboat and family.
The Coast Guard identified the boaters as father Ace Kimberly, 13-year-old Roger Kimberly, 15-year-old Donny Kimberly, and 17-year-old Rebecca Kimberly. The family left Sarasota on their 29-foot sailboat Sunday morning. They were apparently headed to Fort Myers Beach to repair the boat.
Around 3 p.m. Sunday, the father called his brother and said they were in 6-foot seas off the coast of Englewood and they were trying to survive. He reported the four missing on Tuesday.
Even after finding the debris field, searchers were hopeful that the family was still afloat in kayaks that were also at sea with the sailboat. But two of the kayaks have now been found with no sign of the family.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard has asked the public, via Twitter, to continue to keep a "sharp lookout" for the missing family.