Sailboat search: Body recovered from debris field

Posted at 11:26 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 09:46:25-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— During a briefing Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard announced a body had been recovered from the debris field where several items were discovered after a family of four vanished Sunday in rough waters. 

The father and three of his teenage children have been missing off the Florida coast just south of Sarasota since Sunday morning.  The Coast Guard has not identified the body recovered from the water and will only say they are actively looking for three other people.

The family was reportedly en route to Fort Myers to get repairs done on their 29-foot sailboat. They departed early Sunday morning, and last known contact came later that day. Around 3 p.m., the father reportedly called his brother to let him know about 6-foot seas. According to the Coast Guard, he told his brother he was "attempting to survive with his children" somewhere offshore near Englewood. 

The Coast Guard has confirmed the identities of the missing parties. The father, Ace Kimberly, 45, is from Sarasota, and his teenagers Roger, Donny and Rebecca were on the boat with him. The children are 13, 15 and 17 respectively.

Neighbors confirm with Fox 4 that the teens pictured here the three teens from the family.

Late Wednesday morning, U.S. Coast Guard aircrews located a debris field about 33 nautical miles off Sanibel, consisting of 6 life jackets.  The debris included life vests, a tarp, 4 water bottles tied together, a basketball, at least one tennis shoe and a propane tank. 

There was no sign of the missing family.

Crews later located a green kayak that is believed to belong to the family near the debris field. 

MORE: Search continues Thursday for sailboat, missing family

Four Coast Guard crews have been involved in the search, including multiple boats and an airborne rescue team.

An HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing rescue aircrew from Air Station Clearwater, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Station Fort Myers Beach, a 29-foot Response Boat Small-II boat crew from Station Cortez, Florida, and the Coast Guard Cutter Alligator were launched to commence the search.

Station Fort Myers Beach activated the Maritime Emergency Response Team which includes numerous state and local maritime emergency responders.

If you or anyone you know is out on the water in this area, keep a close lookout for any signs of this family. Call the Coast Guard in St. Petersburg at 727-824-7506 if you have any information.