The search for two missing boys has entered its sixth day. Unfortunately, the Florida teens appear to have vanished without a trace. On Friday, Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos set sail off the coast of Jupiter, Florida. Two days later, their capsized boat was discovered approximately 77 miles off the Ponce de Leon Inlet.
As reported by CNN, Perry and Austin had extensive boating experience and were both excellent swimmers. However, they had rules concerning when and where they were allowed to go fishing. Perry’s stepfather, Nick Korniloff, explains.
“We requested when he was out in the water, that he fish the river and Intracoastal (Waterway)… He could go as far as the rocks and inlet… We have taught them the respect of Mother Nature, the power of the sea… They know what the water is all about.”
Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Steve Lehmann confirmed the missing boys were last seen on July 24 at approximately 1:30 p.m. — when they purchased $110 worth of fuel for the 19-foot, single-engine boat.
They were reported missing on Friday evening, as they failed to return to shore or contact their families.
UPDATE: Coast Guard extends search for missing Florida teens to Charleston, S.C. http://t.co/6V7zPwrCEu pic.twitter.com/cAZMXTlLTE
— The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) July 28, 2015
Authorities confirmed the search was recently extended to include the entire east coast between Jupiter, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina. Search and rescue teams are utilizing multiple cutters, planes, and one Navy ship in the search for Florida’s missing teens.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 29, 2015
Although the search efforts have not revealed any trace of Perry Cohen or Austin Stephanos, their families are still hopeful they will be found alive. Perry’s mother, Pamela, said the Coast Guard is equally optimistic.
“We are 100 [percent] committed to finding and rescuing those boys, as is the Coast Guard, and we will not stop until we get them back home with us… We just feel very, very confident that they will be able to stick through this. They know that we’re coming for them and we will get them.”
As reported by Fox News, rescue teams are not ready to give up hope. Unfortunately, time may be running out. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss explains.
“As time goes on, certainly the probability of finding someone alive does decrease, but we’re still within the timeframe where it’s definitely possible to find somebody alive… We know it can happen and we’re hoping it happens again.”
Although the odds may be against them, the missing boys could very well be alive. Authorities said their search for Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos will continue until further notice. The families are also offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the Florida missing teens’ whereabouts.
[Image via The Online Fisherman]