(SNAIL ISLAND, Fla.) — Rescue crews located two kayaks believed to belong to a father and his three teenage children, who have been missing for days off the western coast of Florida after the boat they live on disappeared.
The family has not been seen since Sunday and the search remains ongoing.
The Coast Guard began searching Tuesday for Ace Kimberly and his children, Rebecca, Donald and Roger, after a concerned relative contacted authorities. Kimberly's brother told the Coast Guard that the four family members had at least seven life jackets on their 29-foot sailboat, which they live on, and were towing two kayaks.
Earlier, rescue crews recovered other items 33 nautical miles off the coast of Sanibel Island, Florida, near Fort Meyers, which are believed to belong to the family, including four water bottles, six life jackets, tennis shoes, a basketball and a propane tank, the Coast Guard said.
Coast Guard Capt. Greg Case called these items, which were found in a debris field, a "dire finding," but added that the discovery reaffirmed that air and boat crews are searching in the right area. "There is hope," he said.
The kayaks were found near the debris field.
The family 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, 30 miles from Sarasota.
The father has full custody of the children and is separated from their mother, the children's aunt, Sadie Dilts, told ABC News. Dilts said her sister -- the children's mother -- who lives in Indiana, is on her way to Florida today.
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