Second Body Found in Search for Missing Florida Family, Relatives Still 'Hoping for the Best,' Official Says
Ace Kimberly and his three teenage children were last heard from on Sunday
A second body has been recovered in the search for a missing Sarasota, Florida, father and his three teen children whose sailboat went missing on Sunday.
Rescue teams pulled an unidentified body out of the water around 11 a.m. and a mast believed to be from the family’s sailboat was found at 11:55 a.m., according to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard.
The first body, found on Wednesday, was identified as 17-year-old Rebecca Kimberly. The teen had been living with her father Ace Kimberly, 45, and brothers Roger, 13, and Donny, 15, on a 29-foot sailboat in Sarasota, Florida for a year.
The family was last heard from on Sunday afternoon when Ace called his brother to report that the family was caught “in 6-foot seas and he was attempting to survive with his children,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.
The Kimberly family left Sarasota on Sunday morning and was headed to Fort Myers for repairs to the sailboat. Ace’s brother alerted the Coast Guard Tuesday after the family failed to reach their destination.
On Wednesday, a rescue aircrew located debris from the sailboat, including six lifejackets, tarps, water jugs, a pair of shoes and a kayak known to belong to the family. Later that day, the first body was found.
“This is still an ongoing search and rescue and we still have three persons out there we are trying to locate and we still have hope for that,” Captain Greg Case of the U.S. Coast Guard announced in a press conference Wednesday.
On Thursday, rescue crews witnessed a white flare, the first sign that at least one of the Kimberlys may still be alive. Case said that rescue crews had been searching the area where the flare was reported ever since.
“It could be anything – plane light reflections – we get thousands of reports, some of them are flares, some of them not,” Case said. “But we treat them all as if they are and we’re certainly treating this one like it was.”
At 8 a.m. on Thursday, a bucket was located containing birth certificates, a GPS, toolkit and other items. Case said relatives of the family are “feeling very anxious and upset,” and added that “they’re hoping for the best.”