The boat of two missing teens in central Florida was located Sunday, capsized and damaged, two days after 14-year-olds Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos left for a fishing trip.
According to NBC News, Petty Officer Steve Lehmann of the Florida Coast Guard stated that the capsized boat found is positively the same boat Cohen and Stephanos set out in.
“It is confirmed. We checked the boat’s registration,” Lehmann reported.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 26, 2015
The abandoned boat was found approximately 67 miles off the Florida Atlantic Coast, near the Ponce de Leon Inlet.
The Coast Guard says that they have already searched approximately 15,000 nautical square miles for evidence of the young men.
Both boys were experienced fishermen and now, Cohen’s famous neighbor, Joe Namath, is offering a reward; the former NFL quarterback has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of the teens.
“We’ll keep on looking until we find them. We’re all praying…. The good Lord’s gotta help us out,” Namath said.
NFL legend Joe Namath joins search for 2 missing South Fla boys. Live press conference at 11am: http://t.co/m5LGWZyUZ5
— WPTV (@WPTV) July 26, 2015
The teens were last seen around 1:30 p.m. on Friday as they prepared to fuel their 19-foot boat’s single engine for a trip in the Jupiter Bay area. The boys bought approximately $110 worth of fuel for the trip Friday afternoon at a local marina, a trip that was only expected to last about three or four hours.
The boys apparently cleared the expedition with their parents late Friday morning, around 11 a.m., and were Snapchatting photos of their boat and fishing supplies about noon. The parents of the two teens reported them missing around 5 p.m. that day.
According to The Weather Channel‘s senior meteorologist, Nick Wiltgen, navigating the waters where the boys were reportedly fishing would have been no easy task, due to storms taking place in the area.
“There were thunderstorms reported in the area starting shortly after 1 p.m. and continuing intermittently through about 5 p.m.” Wilgen said.
Upon being found, the boat was anchored in place while search and rescue teams began searching for the boys in that area with boat crews, an airplane, and a rescue helicopter.
“We think clearly that people want the boys rescued without money, but there is a little extra incentive beyond the norm. We’ll do anything to get our children back,” Perry Cohen’s stepfather, Nick Korniloff, said of Namath’s generous reward.
[Photo via News World/YouTube]