MIAMI (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard says a second body has been recovered as crews continue to search the Gulf of Mexico for a family missing off the coast of southwest Florida.
A Coast Guard news release says Cape Coral Fire and Rescue found the body Thursday morning, about four miles from where the first body was found Wednesday. Authorities have not released the identity of either one.
Searchers have also found debris from the boat. On Thursday they found a sailboat mast.
Crews have been searching for 45-year-old Ace Kimberly and his three teenage children.
The family left Sarasota on Sunday, heading to Fort Myers in a 29-foot sailboat. They were last heard from Sunday evening when Kimberly contacted his brother and said they were experiencing “6-foot waves and thunderstorms.”
US Coast Guard confirmed on Twitter Tuesday night that the boat was missing. A Maritime Emergency Response Team was activated which includes numerous state and local maritime emergency responders by sea and by air.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, Coast Guard officials say a debris field was located 37 miles west of Sanibel Island, by an aircraft around 9:30 a.m. Crews located a tarp, four water jugs, six life jackets, tennis shoes, a throwable life ring, a basketball and a propane tank. There was no sign of the boat. Later on Wednesday afternoon, the Coast Guard tweeted that search crews had found a green kayak that is believed to belong to the missing family.
The Coast Guard said it is “throwing everything they have at the search” at this time, and they are now “concentrating efforts on finding family.”
The Coast Guard asks boaters to keep a sharp lookout and contact Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg at (727) 824-7506 with any information regarding the whereabouts of the missing family.