The missing Florida boys’ boat has disappeared just like the boys lost at sea. The search for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen has been called off, but the family plans on continuing the rescue efforts using money raised by their GoFundMe page.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, the missing Florida boys were last seen buying gas for their 19-foot boat near Jupiter, Florida on what was thought to be a fishing trip off the coast. Carly Black, Austin’s mother, believes it is possible the two boys managed to create a makeshift raft using the materials which were missing from the boat.
“I think they’ve made a raft, between the cooler and the life jackets and whatever else they can find floating,” she explained. “My husband keeps saying that he thinks one of them made a spear pole and they’re out there eating sushi. These boys are like mini-MacGyvers.”
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor said they tried searching for the missing Florida boys for as long as they thought was reasonable, but eventually, they decided to suspend their efforts.
“We made a decision to extend our search efforts because there was some uncertainty as to when the boys may have went into the water,” Fedor said. “We also took into account their age and their combined will to live. We never want to discount that… We believe we reached the limit for our effective search and rescue efforts. My focus entirely was on trying to find these two boys. We are budgeted to do search and rescue. I never asked anybody about how much this would cost. I used all the resources that we had available to use.”
According to NBC, a marine salvage company hired by the Coast Guard to bring the missing Florida boys’ boat back to shore couldn’t find the vessel, which was discovered capsized on July 26, 2015. Coast Guard spokesman Anthony Soto explained the boat was marked with a beach, but was otherwise left unsecured.
Coast Guard Lt. Commander Gabe Somma explained that the reason the boat went missing is because they felt the search for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen took priority over their vessel.
“Once we found the boat and discovered that the boys weren’t on board, we immediately shifted gears,” he said. “When we’re dealing with lives, and somebody’s life is in jeopardy, we’re dedicating our resources to go out there and find them.”
The GoFundMe campaign has reached $473,765 as of this publishing, just shy of their $550,000 goal. The money is being used to privately fund the fuel for search boats and aircraft which continue to comb the ocean.
“Should there be any surplus funds at the conclusion of the search and rescue efforts, they will be directed to aid in similar activity that will benefit saving lives in related situations,” the families explained.
[Image via Twitter]