Skip to main content
Publish date:

Family of missing MN kayaker seek to prevent future tragedies in Florida

The search for David Schink was called off after 49 hours.

The family of a Minnesota man who went missing while kayaking off the coast of Florida is raising money to help prevent similar tragedies in the future. 

David Schink, 61, and his wife were on vacation in Destin, Florida, and on Feb. 13, he went kayaking in the ocean but didn't return. 

The U.S. Coast Guard began to search, finding Schink's kayak and half a paddle on Feb. 14. And on Feb. 15, after 49 hours, the U.S. Coast Guard called off the search.

Now, Schink's family has launched a Go Fund Me hoping to raise $20,000 for the David Schink Memorial Fund. 

The primary goal of the memorial fund is to "prevent this kind of tragedy from ever happening again," the page says.

"David was a seasoned professional on the water and had well [over] a decade of experience, if a tragedy like this can happen to him, it can happen to anyone," the page says.

The money raised will go toward educational and preventative measures that include: installing surveillance cameras on the beachfront near where Schink went missing, which would help the Coast Guard narrow search areas and speed up response time; provide kayak manufacturers with safety literature that they'd include with every kayak purchase; and erecting signs near waterways in Destin, Florida, with safety tips and/or lists of what to bring with you in case of an emergency.

The page says the memorial fund would help the Schinks raise awareness of possible life-saving ideas, such as an "Aqua Alert" emergency system implemented that's similar to an Amber Alert but would send alerts to people's phones about missing boaters or unsafe water conditions. 

The Schinks also think boats should be equipped or sold with reflective and IR tape so rescue crews can easily see the watercraft. 

"While some of this may seem obvious, David was no stranger to the water and would be considered an expert as both a swimmer and an operator of water vessels. Despite all of this, he still made some of these mistakes," the page says. 

The page adds:

"While we may never know what happened to him, it is possible that even one of these suggested changes could have saved his life. We truly believe these changes will go a long way not just in the way search and rescue operations are ran, but how the public approach their own safety before they hit the water."

Thomas Schink, of Champlin, who is David Schink's son, started the Go Fund Me page this week. As of Tuesday morning, it had raised more than $3,600. 

The latest forecast from Novak Weather

Next Up

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.

prior lake high school

Prior Lake HS investigating another 'racist' video involving student

The principal said the social media video was reported to them this week.

Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 3.08.27 PM

Walz: Minnesota has secured 1 million rapid, at-home COVID tests for kids

It comes as the delta variant continues to surge in Minnesota, and the omicron variant might follow.

boundary waters

Forest Service limiting permits to BWCAW due to damage, overcrowding

Visitors have been cutting down trees and have been forced to compete for campsites.

police lights

Lockdown update: Armed man threatened to go to Kimball High School

A high school and elementary school near St. Cloud went into lockdown as a precaution.

chaska sewer

People in Chaska are flushing the wrong crap down the toilet

Water and sewer crews in Chaska have had to clean the same pump four times in the past seven days.


David Schink

Search for Minnesota man missing off coast of Florida called off

A recovery search will continue through the end of the week.


Willmar man's coworkers fundraise to help family after he was fatally shot

David Delfosse was working in his garage when he was killed by an errant bullet.

long lake - new brighton search

Kayaker's body found in New Brighton lake after 4-day search

The kayaker was reported missing on Saturday. Her body was found Tuesday.

florida arrests

3 Minnesotans arrested in Florida after break-in at private marina

The suspects said they jumped the fence to take photos of yachts.

iklas ahmed

Donations pour in for family of 2-year-old found dead near Edina park

An 18-hour search for the young girl ended in tragedy Tuesday.

Owner of Brainerd racetrack dies off the coast of Florida

Authorities responded to a call for a man overboard on Sunday.

tommy the dog

Family rescues dog dumped near railroad tracks in St. Paul

They're raising money to help give the neglected pup the loving life he deserves.