Father, daughter missing on Sandusky Bay
Though everyone is appreciative of the long-awaited nice weather, a father-daughter kayaking trip on the still-cold Sandusky Bay appears to have cost them their lives.
The Coast Guard announced April 7 (Sunday) that had ended its active search for the kayaking duo.
The pair went missing the day before (Saturday, April 6), setting off from Crystal Rock, which is locaated near the southern shore of Sandusky Bay.
Missing still are father and daughter, 30-year-old Jonathan Francis and 12-year-old Viola Francis.
When last seen the two were leaving their home in blue and green kayaks, the visual made during the afternoon of April 6 by a neighbor. And the father-daugher were reported as being missing the morning of April 7 by a friend.
As reported to the Coast Guard, the father was wearing navy-blue-colored sweatpants and a hoodie sweatshirt. Meanwhile the daugher was reported to be wearing pink boots, dark leggings and a dark coat.
Neither were seen wearing life jackets, however.
A rescue boat-crew operating out of the Coast Guard's Marblehead Station was sent out, assited by one of the agency's rescue helicopters from its Detroit airwing. Joining them was thhe ODNR/Division of Watercraft.
Likewise aiding in the search were components from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, the Port Clinton Fire Department, and the Erie County Sherriff’s Office.
At 9 a.m., April 7, rescue crews located the two kayaks on the southern shore of Sandusky Bay but have not been able to locate the two people.
"The Coast Guard and partner agencies searched intensely with multiple search assets over the water and the surrounding shores of Sandusky Bay,” said Chief Petty Officer Gabriel Settel, public affairs officer with the Coast Guard's Detroit unit.
"We've exhausted all search options for now, but are prepared to resume our search if we receive new information."
Settel also said later that for Saturday the Coast Guard had issued a smallcraft advisory, calling for winds of 20 to 25 knots, waves of up to three feet on the Bay as well as a water temperature of 36 or 37 degrees.
"The biggest thing I can from the experience is the importance of boaters – especially those operating canoes and kayaks – to always wear lifejackets," Settel said.
The Coast Guard also requests that if anyone has information about the missing father and daughter they are requested to contact the Erie County Sherriff’s Office at 414-625-7951 or the Coast Guard at 313-910-1055.