The search for a missing Florida family continued Thursday after U.S. Coast Guard officials found what appeared to be a flare the day after a body believed to be one of the missing family members was recovered.
Witness reports of the three-second signal raised hopes that some of the family members survived after the 29-foot sailboat Ace Kimberly lived on with his three teens went missing off Florida's southwest coast, NBC News reported
"It could be anything ... plane light reflections," Coast Guard Sector Commander Gregory Case said of the sighting.
The body found Wednesday was reportedly that of 17-year-old Rebecca Kimberly, Fox News reported
. She had been wearing a life jacket. The search continued for her father and siblings Donny, 15, and Roger, 13.
"We continue to hold out hope," Case said, according to NBC News. "We still have hope they're out there, we're still searching. It's an active search-and-rescue mission."
The family lived on the boat in Sarasota Bay and set out Sunday to Fort Myers to have the vessel repaired, The Associated Press reported
That afternoon, Kimberly told his brother there were "6-foot waves and thunderstorms," the AP said. The brother reported them missing on Tuesday.
A bucket containing a GPS navigator, birth certificates, a wallet and cell phone was found Thursday, Reuters reported
Other debris found earlier included six life jackets, water jugs, and a propane tank.
Case called the search "a dire situation," according to Reuters.
Many Twitter users extended heartfelt prayers.
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