June 22, 11:32 a.m. Sarasota, FL — Ace Kimberly and his three teenage children left Sarasota early Sunday morning to take their sailboat in for repairs in Fort Myers
. The family hasn’t been seen since.
The U.S. Coast Guard, however, located a debris field about 33 miles offshore of Sanibel early Wednesday morning. Within that debris field, the coast guard found a pair of shoes, a tarp, six lifejackets and a basketball, among other items.
Ace Kimberly’s brother told the coast guard “these items did indeed correlate to his brother’s vessel,” Capt. Gregory Case said during a Wednesday morning press conference about its search for the Kimberly family.
The coast guard began its search for Ace and his three children, Rebecca, 17, Donny, 15, and Roger, 13, after receiving a call from Ace’s brother on Tuesday. The brother, who hasn’t been named by authorities, told watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg that the Kimberly family left Sarasota around 7 a.m. Sunday in the 29-foot sailboat they live on.
The brother heard from Ace around 3 p.m. Sunday, Case said. At that time, Ace told his brother they had encountered rough seas and thunderstorms. He asked his brother to send him weather reports, Case said.
That was the last time the brother heard from Ace or his children, Case said.
While the discovery of the debris field is “dire,” it hasn’t prompted the coast guard to ends its search, nor has it dashed hope. Case said the family is reported to have had two kayaks with them. A seventh lifejacket is also missing.
“We’re throwing everything we have at this search right now,” Case said Wednesday morning.
The coast guard has called in a number of partner agencies to assist in the search for the family. The Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte county sheriff’s offices have all been assisting, along with the Sarasota Police Department.
Boaters are asked to keep an eye out for the missing family or anything that looks unusual in the water
. Anyone with information about the family is asked to contact the Coast Guard at 727-842-7506.