The boat belonging to the two missing Florida boys, both 14-years-old, was found 67 miles off Daytona Beach on Sunday, but there is no sign of the two boys who were in that boat. A tweet from police in Tequesta, Florida, after they discovered the boat today said that the 19-foot boat had “no souls on board.”
The “no souls on board” has an eerie ring to it, but to the parents and loved ones of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, it was devastating news. The boys gassed up their boat to the tune of $110 on Friday at about 1:30 p.m. in the Jupiter area and were reported missing about three and a half hours later, reports USA Today on July 26.
The search for these boys continues with NFL great Joe Namath offering $100,000 reward for finding the boys. Namath is a neighbor of one of the boys and he, along with the boy’s families said the two teens are experienced boaters.
According to NBC News today, the boy’s boat was capsized when the Coast Guard found it. Both boys are young and healthy, so hopes that they are still out there waiting for a rescue team are still held high by the boys’ families.
The Coast Guard reports that one life vest was found in the hull of the boat, but the family wasn’t sure how many vests were on board the boat. They also had no way of knowing if the boys were wearing a life vest.
Police got word that the boys might have headed for the Bahama’s but, Cohen’s stepfather, Nick Korniloff, told the media that even though the boys were experienced boaters, they were not allowed to take the boat out on the open ocean. They would often take the boat out fishing, but they had their limits on how far they could go.
Authorities located a social media post made by one of the boys before leaving on their boating outing that indicated they may have headed to the Bahama’s, according to the Coast Guard. The boys’ families said they did not leave with enough supplies for a trip that long, they were planning on an afternoon of fishing is what the family believes.
Namath offered that reward in hopes it will amp up the search for these kids. The Coast Guard would rather leave the search to the professionals, they report.
While the Coast Guard had covered 25,000 square nautical miles in their search since Friday, the location of the boat indicated the search area should be tweaked a bit. The search area was recalculated on Sunday because of the boat’s location, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Stephen Lehmann.
The boat was anchored right where the Coast Guard found it and the search for the boys spread out from there. It was about 200 miles away from Jupiter, where the boys left on their outing in the boat.
Lehmann said, “This provides us an intelligent view of the currents in the area, which helps us dictate where we are going to put our personnel. Our priority is finding these boys.” Carly Black, Stephanos’ mother, said after the boat was found, “We are going to find them today. We are going to bring them home.”
Petty Officer Mark Barney said “was “one of the longest and most intense searches I’ve seen in my three years here.” The Coast Guard used their C-130 airplane, a helicopter crew, an HR 144 plane, two U.S. Customs and Border Protection planes and two Coast Guard cutters in this search.