U.S. Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Boys Off Florida

A U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer inspects the 19-foot boat belonging to the boys, Sunday, July 26, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard Photo
A U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer inspects the 19-foot boat belonging to the boys, Sunday, July 26, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

 

The U.S. Coast Guard is suspending its search in the Atlantic Ocean for two missing boys a full week since they were last seen in Jupiter, Florida buying fuel for their 19-foot boat.

The active search for the missing teens continued on Friday during the day, but the Coast Guard said it decided to suspend the search as of sundown after a search of over 49,000 square nautical miles of ocean turned up empty.

The Coast Guard was informed last Friday at 5 p.m. that the two boys, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14 years old, were aboard a 19-foot white single engine center console vessel and were last seen at approximately 1:30 p.m., after purchasing $110 worth of fuel in the Jupiter, Florida area. Concerns were heightened because a strong squall blew through the area at about the same time the boys would have been out.

On Sunday morning, their overturned boat was found about 67 nautical miles east of Ponce de Leon Inlet, Florida.

 

Still missing are Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14 years old. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard
Still missing are Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14 years old. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

 

An extensive search involving land and sea assets stretched from Daytona, Florida all the way to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina because it was believed likely that the boys became caught in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. 

Despite the dire situation, the family of the boys, their friends, the public and search crews rallied support and held onto the hope that the strong-willed and experienced teens would be found alive.

In a press conference this afternoon, the Coast Guard announced that it was suspending the search as of sundown after taking into account all factors. The Coast Guard said the search could be opened back up if new information becomes available.