Eerie coincidence: Neighbor caught in same offshore storm as missing family

Posted at 8:49 AM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 08:49:06-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In an eerie coincidence, the neighbors of the family that's gone missing in their sailboat says that they experienced troubles on the water that same day.

The Kimberly Family was coming to stay at Ace Kimberly's brother's home in Fort Myers.  And just next door there, a neighbor tells Fox 4 that he was out on the water on Sunday too, and had to call the Coast Guard for help.

"The waves were getting bigger and bigger."  Jose Ramos says waves higher than four feet, combined with a powerless motor, led him to call the Coast Guard on Sunday.  "We also got stuck out there for 7 hours. When we called they said they were already searching for somebody else, but I never thought it would be my neighbor."

His neighbor is Ace Kimberly's brother.  Ace and his three kids Roger, Donny, and Rebecca vanished on Sunday when their sailboat hit six foot seas off Sanibel Island.

Ramos said the waves were so strong, "they were probably moving a mile out with him every hour and a half, maybe two hours."

Despite the dangerous conditions, Ramos hasn't lost hope. "I just hope they've got a lot of food on the boat and water and some fishing poles, and hope that they hit or fix the issue they have on their phone. It's four days, it's still too early to call."

When we last spoke with Ace's brother, he told us his sister and aunt are driving down from Tennessee as we speak and he didn't want to speak on camera until after hears from the Coast Guard.