The search for the two Florida teens missing at sea continues. The Coast Guard found their capsized boat Sunday during a search that has already spanned thousands of miles.
Steve Lehmann, Coast Guard Petty Officer, said Sunday that this is an “active search-and-rescue case.” He added that the Guard will keep their “perpetual optimism that we are going to find somebody.”
Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, were last seen on Friday around 5 p.m. when they set out on a fishing trip from Jupiter, Florida. Palm Beach Post reports that the two may have been headed to a spot in the Bahamas where they had once vacationed. There were storms in the area when they left for their trip.
The Coast Guard located their 19-foot boat 67 miles from where they were seen buying gas. The center-console boat had capsized, but it was not damaged, Washington Post reports. It was indeed the boys’ boat, but they were nowhere in sight.
A Coast Guard helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer who confirmed the registration numbers on the overturned boat. The boat is to be anchored in place while they undergo the search-and-rescue mission.
They have used a helicopter, airplane and boat to search nearly 26,000 nautical miles since the boys were reported missing Friday. Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said Monday that the search has been difficult due to ocean drift patterns. Nevertheless, the search continues.
Cohen’s stepfather, Nick Korniloff, stated in a news conference Sunday that he has faith in the boys’ abilities at sea. Both boys have been on the water since they were young and are certified boaters. Korniloff said that “they know what they’re doing out there” and the families are confident they are still alive.
A prayer vigil was held for the boys Sunday. Hundreds attended, Huffington Post reports.
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath is a neighbor and has joined in on the search. “It’s hard, it’s so hard, but we’ve got to believe in their wherewithal,” Namath said.
The families of the teens are offering a $100,000 for their safe return.