BAYFIELD — Four family members, including three young children, were killed late Thursday after their kayak capsized off the coast of Madeline Island, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The man’s wife, Cari Mews-Fryman, 29, was the sole survivor and was rescued hours after the boat overturned, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The victims have been identified as Eric Fryman, 39, and his three children — Kyra, 9, Annaliese, 5, and Jansen, 3.
Authorities say the family was vacationing on Madeline Island and left the shore at about 3 p.m. Thursday to tour the islands in Chequamegon Bay. All were wearing life jackets when the kayak was swamped and overturned, according to a Coast Guard spokesman, Master Chief Alan Haraf.
Haraf said the woman sent text messages reading “911” and “Michigan” at about 4 p.m. to a sister as the family floated in the bay, but there was no cell service in the area. The messages were not received until the woman drifted into a service area and the messages finally went through
Those messages made their way to the Coast Guard, which launched a search effort that involved a boat from Bayfield, a helicopter from Traverse City, Mich., and an urgent marine information broadcast, officials said.
The U.S. Geological Survey research ship KIYI, which found the woman at about 10 p.m. on the west side of Michigan Island.
The Bayfield Coast Guard station sent a 45-foot response boat to search for the father and three children. The Canadian Coast Guard, U.S. Park Service, Bayfield Fire Department, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and local sheriff’s deputies aided in the search.
By late Thursday, they found the husband, a son and a daughter, all deceased, Haraf said.
The search for the remaining daughter continued into Friday morning, when her body was recovered.