2nd body found from missing sailboat in Gulf of Mexico

Posted at 6:59 AM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 07:23:02-04

**UPDATE (6/23 2 PM)** -- The Coast Guard reports that a 2nd body has been recovered in the search for a Sarasota family. Neither bodies have been identified yet.

At 11:06 a.m. Thursday, Cape Coral Fire and Rescue recovered a second body 4 miles southeast of location of first body. 

At 11:55 a.m. a Customs and Boarder Protection aircraft located what appeared to be a sailboat mast 101 miles offshore Fort Myers, Florida. Further investigation revealed it was a crab pot and fishing gear.


LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The search for a Southwest Florida family missing in the Gulf of Mexico will continue, one day after search crews found one body Wednesday.

At a press conference Thursday morning, U.S. Coast Guard officials announced that at 2:30 AM, what appeared to be a white flare was spotted in the search area.  That area is being closely investigated.

Later, around 8:15 AM, a bucket was located containing several personal items from the boat, including wallets and birth certificates.  The bucket was found approximately 5.5 miles from where the body was discovered Wednesday.

Over 20,000square nautical miles have been covered in searches so far.

"We still have hope they're out there," says Capt. Gregory Cage.

Ace Kimberly and his three teenaged children, Roger, Donny and Rebecca, set sail from Sarasota on Sunday morning, headed for Fort Myers but encountered a storm while offshore.  They were last heard from around 3 PM Sunday when Ace called a family member reporting rough seas.

U.S. Coast Guard crews have continued searching throughout Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning with the assistance of Florida Fish and Wildlife, Customs, Border Protection, Lee County Sheriff's Office, Iona-McGregor Fire Department, and Cape Coral Fire Department.

The search has extended from 30 miles offshore to 40 miles offshore.

PHOTOS: Coast Guard search for Sarasota family off Sanibel

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

Later Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard announced a body had been recovered from the debris field, along with 2 wetsuits, 2 life jackets, a green shirt, and a boat fender.  That body is yet to be identified.

Thursday morning another kayak was found.

A C-130 aircraft crew from the Coast Guard station in Clearwater is scheduled to conduct a search east of Sanibel at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.  Our sister station in Tampa has a reporter on that flight, and will file updates later Thursday.