Officials say the man, along with his 13 and 15-year-old teenage sons, and 17-year-old daughter were last heard from Sunday morning.
A family member called the Coast Guard Tuesday to report the man and his children left Sarasota en route to Fort Myers at 7 a.m. Sunday and hadn’t returned.
The 29-foot boat disappeared off the coast of Englewood, according to the coast guard.
The father aboard the vessel called his brother at 3 p.m. Sunday and “stated the sailboat was in 6-foot seas and he was attempting to survive with his children offshore of Englewood,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.
Rescue crews were searching for the family by air and sea Tuesday night, the Coast Guard added.
Station Fort Myers Beach activated the Maritime Emergency Response Team which includes numerous state and local maritime emergency responders.