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Wisconsin woman's entire family killed in kayak accident

By Ray Downs

Sept. 2 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin woman's entire family -- three children and her husband -- were killed in a kayak accident on Thursday.

Cari Mews, 29, and her husband, Erik Fryman, 39, took their three children out for a kayak trip on Lake Superior to visit the Apostle Islands. But the weather changed quickly and strong waves up to four feet high caused their kayak to capsize, WCCO-TV reported.

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"It's known for having very unforgiving weather and being able to turn in an instant," U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Justin Sickler told KSTP-TV.

Mews became separated from her family during the turmoil. She treaded water for several hours and was able to text her sister, Bobi Jo Mews, with her cell phone that was stored in a waterproof bag. The sister alerted authorities, who sent out an urgent marine message about people being overboard.

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Ship Capt. Joe Walters was one of the boaters who responded to the message and found Mews in the water, alone and hypothermic, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The Ashland County Sheriff's Office sent search teams to locate the rest of the family amid strong thunderstorms. Fryman and 9-year-old Kyra, 5-year-old Annaliese and 3-year-old Jansen were all found dead after midnight.

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Each member of the family was wearing life jackets, the department said.

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"Even with all the required safety equipment and all the right training, anything can happen when you get out on the lake," said Coast Guard spokesperson Justin Sickler.

Bobi Joe Mews, told WCCO-TV that her sister and Fryman wanted to take their children out on a trip before the new school year began.

"They loved to go camping together and they took their kids everywhere and explored the world," she said.

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The ACSO said the incident is under investigation.

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