Father and three children likely suffered hypothermia when they died in Lake Superior

September 7, 2018

A father and his three children who died after their kayak capsized last week on Lake Superior likely suffered hypothermia.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate the father likely died of hypothermia while the children likely died of hypothermia and possibly drowning, according to Ashland County Sheriff Mick Brennan. Final autopsy results wont be available until additional test results are completed.

Meanwhile, several agencies, including the Coast Guard and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are continuing investigate in an effort to piece together what happened to the family after they left Madeline Island in an open-top tandem kayak to paddle to Michigan Island, about four miles away.

According to reports, Eric Fryman and his wife, Cari, left the island about 1 p.m. on Aug. 30 in a 13 andfrac12;-foot tandem open-top kayak with the three children Kyra 9; Annaliese, 5; and Jansen, 3. Hours later, the kayak capsized between Stockton and Michigan islands, authorities said.

All five family members were wearing life jackets.

The mother, the lone survivor, reported that her husband gathered all three children and swam toward shore while she returned to the kayak to grab a phone and flashlight in an emergency bag. In those few minutes, she told authorities that she lost sight of her husband and the children amid the waves.

With little or no cell service on the lake, Cari Mews-Fryman finally got a text message to her sister at about 8 p.m. that said: 911 and Michigan Island.

The Coast Guard and emergency workers were alerted and a search began. A USGS research vessel, the KIYI was in the area and found the mother in the water at about 10 p.m. Her husbands body and those of the children were found hours later.

Mary Lynn Smith 612-673-4788

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