Coast Guard crews cover nearly 31,000 square nautical miles in search for missing boys

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Sept. 19)--The Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin (WPB 87319) an 87-foot patrol boat patrols Charleston's waterways as part of heigthen security since Sept. 11. USCG photo by Telfair H. Brown, Sr.

Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin (WPB 87319)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard continues to search for two missing boys, Tuesday, approximately 100 nautical miles off the coast of the Florida and Georgia border.

Still missing are Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14 years old.

Coast Guard search crews have conducted 39 search patterns covering more than 30,992square nautical miles. The search area stretches from Jupiter, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina.

Coast Guard assets involved in the search include:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Maria Bray
  • Coast Guard Cutter William Flores
  • Coast Guard Cutter Shrike
  • Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin
  • Coast Guard Cutter Sawfish
  • Coast Guard Cutter James
  • Coast Guard Station Ponce de Leon Inlet small boats
  • Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral small boats
  • HC-130 Hercules airplanes from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida.

Other agencies involved in the search include the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, Customs and Border Protection, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“We continue to search for the missing boys,” said Capt. Mark Fedor, chief of response for the Coast Guard 7th district. “We’re constantly reevaluating the situation to determine our next course of action, however as each hour goes by, the situation becomes dire.”

At approximately 5 p.m. Friday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Miami command center received the report that Austin and Perry were aboard a 19-foot white single engine center console vessel and were last seen in the Jupiter area at approximately 1:30 p.m., after purchasing $110 worth of fuel.

On Sunday at 11 a.m., a Coast Guard C-130 located a capsized vessel 67 nautical miles east of Ponce de Leon Inlet, Florida. A Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew was dispatched, lowered a rescue swimmer to the boat, and confirmed the vessel’s registration.

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