Families Of Missing Teenagers Lost At Sea End Private Search – ‘We Love Our Boys’

Families Of Missing Teenagers Lost At Sea End Private Search – ‘We Love Our Boys’
Sailboat Key West Florida Sunset gabe popa / Flickr CC BY 2.0

The 16-day search for two missing Tequesta teenagers lost at sea has been brought to an end.


“Absent new information, continuing the search is not practical,” a news release issued Sunday said.

‘Reality Of No New, Credible Evidence’

In a statement, the families of the two boys, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, announced that they will end the search that covered hundreds of miles along the Atlantic Coast.

The families “faced the harsh reality of no new, credible evidence or clues to guide the search,” the spokesperson for the family said, as reported by CBS Miami.

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The missing teenagers were last seen leaving the Jupiter Inlet in a SeaCraft boat. On July 26, their boat, which had been capsized, was discovered 70 miles off the coast of New Smyrna Beach. The agency continued their search through the week but brought it to a close on July 31, as reported by Sun Sentinel.

(Also read: Boat Of Two Missing Boys Found Empty And Afloat In Florida)

Vigils were held for the missing boys at their school.

‘We Love Our Boys And Want Them Home’

Donations to sponsor the search were received by the hundreds. The expense for the search ranged from $40,000 to $60,000 a day, which included food, fuel for search vehicles and other resources, a spokesperson for the family said.

Funds collected on the fundraising website GoFundMe amounted to $479,985, going beyond the family’s goal of $475,000.

“We love our boys and want them home,” the statement released by the families said. “Today, our hope becomes our paryer [sic] – that one day Perry and Austin will be returned to us.  We thank everyone for their dedicated efforts and support. We will never stop looking for our boys, Austin and Perry.  We want to thank the U.S. Coast Guard and the many volunteers from Florida to Maine whose comtributions [sic] were nothing shrot [sic] of extraordinary.”

(Also read: 7-year-old Killed Among Four Others In Boat Accident In Utah)

‘My Mother Checks In On Me All The Time’

Bradley Kapper, a friend of Austin’s, expressed sorrow over the possibility that Austin and Perry had perished at sea.

“It’s terrible to think about, but that’s what many people have been going through for about 15 days now,” Kapper said.

“I met Austin about five years ago, and we became friends through fishing. My mother, she checks in on me all the time now when I head out, about twice as much as she did before. The ocean is a very tough place.”

According to USA Today, the families announced that they will establish a foundation in honor of the boys to promote boating education among youth.

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