(SNAIL ISLAND, Fla.) — Rescue crews located water bottles, life jackets and a propane tank that may have belonged to the family reported missing off the western coast of Florida on Father's Day, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday.
Coast Guard Capt. Greg Case called it a "dire finding," but added that the discovery reaffirmed that air and boat crews are searching in the right place. "There is hope," he said.
The debris was found 33 nautical miles off the coast of Sanibel Island, Florida. There was no sign of the family.
The Coast Guard began searching on Tuesday for the man and his three teenage children after a concerned family member contacted authorities.
A Coast Guard air crew discovered the four water bottles, six life jackets, tennis shoes, a basketball and a propane tank Wednesday morning.
The missing dad's brother told the Coast Guard the family had at least seven life jackets and reportedly two kayaks on board the sailboat.
The family, who lived on the 29-foot boat, left Sarasota at 7 a.m. Sunday en route to Fort Myers for boat repairs. At about 3 p.m. Sunday, the missing man called his brother to say the boat was in 6-foot seas near Englewood, Florida, 30 miles away from Sarasota.
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