UPDATE - Officials call off water search for 2 kayakers in Sandusky Bay

Father and daughter still missing.
TNS Regional News
Apr 8, 2013


The Ottawa County Sheriff's department has called off the water search for two missing kayakers in Sandusky Bay, according a dispatcher.

Authorities were searching Sandusky Bay for a missing father and his daughter. No bodies have been found.

Erie County and U.S. Coast Guard officials are still searching.

The kayakers are identified as 30-year-old Jonathan Francis, of Sandusky, and his 12-year-old daughter Viola Francis, according to Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said.

Mr. Francis was reported to be wearing navy blue sweatpants and a hoodie sweatshirt and his daughter was reported to be wearing pink boots, dark leggings and a dark coat, according to a news release from the Coast Guard.

Sheriff Sigsworth told The Blade that the two kayaks were recovered at about 9:30 a.m. They were found abandoned and floating in the water on the north shore of Sandusky Bay in Ottawa County almost directly across the bay from Crystal Rock. The pair started near Crystal Rock and planned to paddle to the Edison Bridge and back, Sheriff Sigsworth said.

Mr. Francis' girlfriend, Sheila McClain, reported the kayakers missing at 5:20 a.m.

“They were only only going to be gone a few hours and they didn’t come back,” she said. “I was kind of waiting, thinking they had gotten hung up somewhere, but then it got to be too late. I just couldn’t want anymore, it was driving me nuts, I had to call the police.”

Ms. McClain said the weather was nice when the two departed on the kayaks.

“It was a little windy but there weren’t any whitecaps on the bay,” she said.

The two normally wear lifejackets, but since it was going to be just a quick trip, they didn’t take them, she said.


By Tanya Irwin - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

Visit The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) at www.toledoblade.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


Just Another Voice

Praying for them!


Why oh why didnt they wear life jackets as unforgiving as that lake is ?.. What a shame. Kinda like mc riders who think its un cool to wear helmets ..


with That cold of water, all a life jacket will do is ensure someone finds your body.....I'm sure she flipped over and he went in to save her or vice versa. The cold claimed them both. Just my thoughts...


Ur right but they still might have had a better chance with then without. Its just a shame.


If you can swim then you have the same chance with or with out when water temps are that cold....you have minutes either way


Sending prayers of strength and comfort.
May God be with the family.

Yall Make Me Sick

All familes are in my prayers. Just heartbreaking.


I am thinking custody issues at play. Kayaks found, Shoes found, bodies not found. 12 hour delay in reporting as missing. ???? Somethings not right with this picture. Holding out hope they will be located safe.


Thoughts and prayers for the families


Jimbo~ I totally agree with you, the waves coming off of Lake Erie Saturday evening were nothing that a kayaker would mess with. With that said 2 kayaks and a pair of shoes would not have been found in the same exact area all the way across the Lake....They would have been scattered unless of course the kayaks were roped together (but this was obviously not the case) a pair of shoes would have sunk they are not floatation devices! The mother has made some mistakes, there was a custody battle ensuing and he did not want his daughter in this mess any longer! (Of course this is all my opinion), and not to mention if my loved ones were out on the lake I would surely NOT wait 12 hours PAST the time they should have returned to call for help....That Lake claims too many lives they would have had at max 1/2 hour and id of been on the horn making such a fuss someone would have came to assist! Prayers for all involved but in my heart I feel this little girl and her father are SAFE!


Thoughts and prayers for the family? ?? Wtf prayers for the missing!


Jimbo- if u know the family and situation then u can make an upsurd comment like that. he and his mother have custody of her, so ur story is just B.S. ur another one of the many makin stuff up n makin this tradgedy that much worse of the family


I have to wonder how they fell out of a kayak. They flip back up you do not fall out like a in other floating devices. Also, everything should have been scattered not all in one spot. This goes against the law of nature. Something is fishy and I am not talking about the perch or walleye.