Four Dead, One Rescued Near Apostle Islands

The Incident Was Reported on Thursday, August 30 to the Ashland County Sheriff's Office

ASHLAND COUNTY, Wisc. – Tragedy has struck the Apostle Islands. Three children, ages three, six, and nine and their father are dead after their kayak capsized on Thursday.

Officials tell us a family of five went kayaking Thursday afternoon but the winds started to pick up to Around 15 to 20 mph, causing the kayak to capsize. The mother was found alive but the father and three children all died. An outcome rescuers wish could have been different.

The sit–on–top kayak capsized near Stockton Island and Michigan Island in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore around 4 p.m. but the coast guard wasn’t notified until around 8:30 p.m. since the area has no cell phone service. The mother attempted to call for help but nothing went through. Later her phone drifted into service and a relative received what the report is calling alarming texts, asking for 911 help.

Search and Rescue crews found the mother alive around 10 p.m. on the west side of Michigan Island. The bodies of the father and two children we’re located around midnight. The third child wasn’t found until 9 a.m. Friday morning.

Everyone was wearing a life jacket.

Officials tell us when the family took off for their kayak trip it was beautiful weather but that changed quickly.

“So I would caution people to check the weather, prior to getting underway, once we got out there on scene weather conditions picked up to about 20 to 25 mph winds,” Coast Guard executive petty officer Justin Sickler said.

Search and Rescue leaders say another way to be extra safe is to have a marine radio, which always has service, and gives a location signal for rescuers.

The deceased father has been identified as Erik D. Fryman of Loyal, Wisconsin.

The mother who was rescued in the crash is Cari A. Mews, also of Loyal, Wisconsin.

The incident remains under investigation by the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office, the Wisconsin DNR, and the Ashland and Bayfield County Coroner’s Offices.

Michigan Island is roughly 3.5 miles Northeast of Madeline Island


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