Coast Guard offers hope of finding missing Florida teens alive

Jupiter Missing TeensUPDATE : The search is now totally in Georgia, the Coast Guard told The Palm Beach Post early Tuesday.  Coast Guard search-and-rescue teams have covered more than 28,000 square nautical miles as they continue to move north into Southern Georgia.

By Adam Sacasa and Mike Clary, Sun Sentinel

JUPITER, Fla. _ More than three days after two 14-year-old boys disappeared on what was supposed to be a routine fishing trip, Coast Guard officials offered hope the teenagers could be found alive.

“People can survive in the water. It’s relatively warm,” Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor said Monday. “But it’s a dangerous environment, and there is only so long you can survive in the water.

“Four to five days in these conditions.”

Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen were last seen Friday morning when they motored out of Jupiter Inlet in a 19-foot center console boat. The vessel was recovered at 11 a.m. Sunday about 70 miles east of Daytona Beach, the Coast Guard said.

The boat was capsized and drifting almost 200 miles from where the boys left port. One life jacket was found but how many life jackets were on the boat is unknown, Fedor said.

“Finding the boat validates our search effort, but obviously it was disappointing that the boys were not clinging to that boat,” he said.

Military planes and ships, including a Navy destroyer, have conducted a search over 27,000 square miles of ocean. The search has shifted north and now is centered off the coast of Jacksonville.

To help the search, several volunteers and family members, including Cohen’s stepfather Nick Korniloff, scoured the beaches for any sign of the missing boys.

In their last communication, the teens sent a text message sent to Stepanos’ mother, Carly Black, at 11:25 a.m. Friday, with no indications of trouble.

Black said the boys were likely headed about four miles offshore where the sea is 200 to 300 feet deep, a prime fishing location. They were seen aiming in that direction after they bought $100 worth of fuel at the Jib Yacht Club and Marina on Friday.

But they might have run into rough weather. At 3:15 p.m. Friday, a marine warning was issued, saying thunderstorms, heavy rains and winds in excess of 40 mph were possible.

Last night residents of Jupiter, Florida met at the jupiter inlet to show support and light up the sky with lanterns.

Lanterns fill the sky at vigil for two Florida teens missing off the coast in Jupiter, Florida. #FindAustinAndPerrydesktop:

Posted by CBS 12 News on Monday, July 27, 2015


(c)2015 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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