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Friends of Kimberly family praying for survivors

Posted at 10:50 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 07:44:42-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Friends of the Kimberly family are in total shock after the Southwest Florida family was swept away at sea on Sunday. They're now learning a second family member is dead.

Thursday, authorities found a body four miles from where the first one was discovered on Wednesday.

The Kimberly family was sailing to Fort Myers when they hit rough seas and vanished. Ace Kimberly and his children were swept away at sea on Sunday, a storm claimed at least two of their lives.

Authorities now confirm two bodies have been recovered. The first one found was 17 year old Rebecca. The family's friends are both devastated and angry. Nelda Gerena tells us, "They are not supposed to put those kids in bad weather because today you need to check the weather before you go to a boat with the family."

Gerena lives next door to Ace's brother in Fort Myers and recalls, "They were nice kids, wonderful kids." They were coming here to spend time with him when tragedy struck. One neighbor tells us Ace’s brother, “Was just terrified he was just like in crazy pain you know he just can't speak."

A photo of the family’s sailboat was taken just before their trip shows the 29 foot boat appearing to be in good condition. The Coast Guard is now sifting through that boat's debris and collecting the family's belongings items such as life jackets, sneakers, water jugs tied together, and a bucket with their wallets and birth certificates.

We're also learning Ace may have another son with a former fiancée named Melissa Gross. She now lives in Tennessee and posted about the tragedy on her Facebook page, asking for prayers.

Meanwhile friends of the Kimberly's are hoping the two remaining family members are found alive and well. A neighbor says, "They just got to pray and pray for the other two to survive so they can be found somewhere out there."

We’re also told the Kimberly children didn't go to school because they essentially lived on that sailboat.