JET Ski champion Eric “The Eagle” Francis has been found dead in the water beside his high-speed undamaged watercraft after mysteriously vanishing during a race in Mexico on Saturday.
The Florida native is survived by his pregnant wife Sophie Francis who is mourning the chilling loss along with their two-year-old daughter and unborn baby that’s due in weeks.
Eric, 36, was a five-time world champion racer while his British wife Sophie, 26, also earned the world champion title for women in 2016.
Eric was racing in Saint-Louis, Guadeloupe, the day of his tragic death, and water conditions were deemed “moderate.”
His wife and child were attending the event to support him.
A search party was sent to look for Eric after he failed to check in for the final stage of the event, The Watercraft Journal 已报告.
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He was found unresponsive beside his undamaged jet ski.
“All of us at The Watercraft Journal are heartsick to learn of the passing of world champion race, Eric ‘The Eagle’ Francis while competing in Guadalupe this weekend,” the publication wrote in a statement.
“Eric was one of the hardest-charging racers today, a loving husband to Sophie and a dedicated father, as well as a good friend to so, so many in our sport. Godspeed, Eric.”
Eric earned his nickname The Eagle after becoming a quadruple world champion in the world’s largest watercraft championship P1 AquaX.
He had raced in Guadeloupe several times throughout his career.
Based on a recent social media 邮政, Eric and Sophie were married in 2016 before having now two-year-old Willow and another on the way.
“Here’s to 5 years married, and a lifetime to go,” Sophie tragically wrote late last year.
一个 GoFundMe was started to provide financial assistance to Eric’s family as Sophie is expecting their second child in weeks.
“We want to support her, show her we love her, and let her know she is not alone,” wrote the GoFundMe’s organizer.
The campaign has already raised over $15,000 for the mourning family.
“On the water, Francis was ferocious, determined to prove his mettle,” the Journal wrote.
“Off the water, Francis was approachable, friendly and welcoming – and slipped effortlessly into the role of a loving husband and father in recent years.”
P1 AquaX has also launched a GoFundMe which has raised over $10,000 for the family.
“While money won’t change anything, it will help take care of mom and the babies while they deal with the tragedy and loss of Eric,” wrote the organizer.
The details surrounding Eric’s death are currently unknown.
An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of death.
The Sun reached out to Eric’s family, but they did not immediately respond for comment.