Sad news out on Lake Superiour . On August 30, 2018
APOSTLE ISLANDS, LAKE SUPERIOR – When a Wisconsin couple with three young children set out on an adventure in an open-topped tandem kayak last week, experts say their Lake Superior island-hopping plan would have been challenging even for experienced paddlers.
It came to a tragic end when the wind picked up and their boat capsized in the Apostle Islands in western Superior last Thursday afternoon. Rescuers pulled the body of Eric Fryman, 39, of Loyal, Wis., from the lake later that night, along with the bodies of his three children: Kyra, 9; Annaliese, 5, and Jansen, 3.
Fryman’s wife and the children’s mother, Cari Mews-Fryman, 29, survived for hours in the cold water and was picked up by a search boat who saw her flashlight, according to the Associated Press.
When they were found, Mews-Fryman was fully clothed, but the children had been wearing only swimsuits, and Eric Fryman had on a pair of pants but no shirt, according to reports. Everyone had a life jacket on.
At the time their 13-foot kayak capsized, the air temperature was warm but Superior’s water was in the 60s, authorities have said.
“I think hypothermia was a huge factor [in their deaths], especially for the children,” Coast Guard Lt. Daniel Peters said, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The family had set out for the four-hour kayaking trip between the Apostles’ Madeline and Michigan islands about 1 p.m. Thursday. About three hours later, the kayak capsized and everyone landed in the lake.
According to the Star-Tribune, Eric Fryman and the three children began to swim toward Michigan Island while Cari Mews-Fryman was retrieving emergency supplies from their bag on the boat, including a cell phone and flashlight.
Using the phone, she was able to send a text to her sister with the words “911” and “Michigan island.”
She quickly got separated from the rest of her family. She could hear them yelling and thought they’d reached the shore ahead of her, the Tribune reported. But they never did.
Local authorities, the U.S. Coast Guard and a research boat became involved in the search about 8:45 p.m. The Coast Guard sent a helicopter from its Air Station in Traverse City.
A boat captain said his crew spotted the woman’s flashlight in the water, and when they pulled her aboard, she was hypothermic. He got word that one child’s body had been found. Searchers found two other bodies overnight. The body of the third child was found the next morning, after storms went through the area.