The search continues for missing kayakers

Nets came up empty at about 1 p.m. Tuesday during a search for two kayakers who went missing Saturday in Sandusky Bay.
Emil Whitis
Apr 9, 2013

Search crews dragged fishing nets along the Sandusky Bay shoreline east from Crystal Rock, north about 4000 feet along the Edison bridge then back west forming a horseshoe shape. 

But the nets were empty when crews hauled them in at about 1 p.m. 

Cadaver-sniffing dogs were still combing the bay at about 1:30 p.m. and one dog indicated to a spot not covered by the nets. 

See more photos of the search HERE

Divers are searching the area. 

Jonathan Francis, 30, and his daughter Viola, 12, were last seen Saturday evening paddling toward the Edison Bridge. 

Their empty kayaks were discovered washed up along the Ottawa County shoreline near LIghtner Road on Sunday morning. 


Simple Enough II

Maybe he didn't intend to hurt his daughter, but if indeed they went kayaking under the said circumstances, it is not a tragic accident, it is a negligent act as an adult and parent I don't accept the "Hold my Beer and watch this" mentality when it comes to children.


Wow there is a big pile of stones around here from all you "perfect, without sin" people. Two people are missing and all you can do is cast stones. Maybe you should be the ones worried about if you will be going to a better place when you pass away. Prayers for the missing dad and daughter and their family. Oh and for you "perfect" people.

Simple Enough II

I would have thrown a life perserver instead!

Sitting In The ...

Thanks Simple Enough !!!!! Atleast you picked something that actually required effort on your part. Hey snowlover keep the prayers you obviously need them way more than me. Hey snowlover If God didn't help these two what makes you think he cares about your prayers?


How do you know God didn't help them? My prayers get answered all the time-sometimes not the way I want them but the way HE want's them. God Bless you!


I was told one kayak was upside-down. I think the shoes were probably in the kayak and when it hit shore and flipped over, they fell out. Also, Noitall, you apparently don't know anything. How can you talk about anyone like that? No matter what kind of person they are. The girl looks very happy in the photos with her daddy. Maybe he wasn't perfect, but kids tend to see the good in their parents and love them unconditionally.


Has anybody found his vehicle anywhere ??


The most tragic thing about this entire incident is, of course, the fact that a 12 year-old child is missing and possibly dead. But the SECOND most tragic thing is that this is one accident that was entirely preventable.

Do I think anybody would do such a thing intentionally? Of course not! If nothing else, it's a pretty unsure method of murder/suicide! But do I think the father should have known better? Absolutely. And do I think the girlfriend really dropped the ball by the long delay in reporting a problem? That, too. We've all heard the phrase "comedy of errors." Well, here's a TRAGEDY of errors.

To the friends and family directly involved: You have my sympathies (as well as those of most of the rest of us, I'm sure). But that doesn't mean those errors in judgment weren't made, and that people pointing out those errors are either "cold" or "wrong." Consider it a learning opportunity, maybe, for anybody else contemplating such a weekend "adventure!"


Well said. I think that curiosity has people wondering what the facts are here. I'm sure we're not being told all there is to this and I hope they find them, one way or another.


The kayaks were 8-foot long. The photos show that they were Guidesman Neptune 8 The tops and sides of the kayaks are seen clearly in the photos and there is no sign of any registration stickers which are required by law in Ohio when on public waters. They apparently weren't familiar with some of the procedures for using kayaks.


I thought they looked like 10 footers. They should have been on 13 footers. It's so sad. 8 footers are way too small.


An 8-foot sea kayak is like a whitewater boat. The ones they were using had no up-turn to cut through waves and were very short, almost like pool toys. They get swamped easily in waves. Apparently they weren't wearing any spray skirts to keep the water out.

It's difficult to re-enter sea kayaks without being skilled in the proper re-entry techniques and without the needed equipment (paddle float, bilge pump). Anyone who takes a sea kayak out on the waters should get training first. It's much more difficult to re-enter a sea kayak than one may think. Even a sit-on-top kayak can be difficult to re-enter.


Firefighter from the area claims dad was found.. any one know anything about that? Hope its false & still praying they're found alive & well.


I heard there was activity at bridge tonite


HBK, what "deep stuff" would that be?