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Search for Missing Teens off Florida Coast to Be Suspended

Image: Search for Missing Teens off Florida Coast to Be Suspended
Austin Stephanos, left, and Perry Cohen. (REUTERS/U.S. Coast Guard/Handout)

Friday, 31 Jul 2015 03:02 PM

The U.S. Coast Guard plans to suspend its search for two 14-year-old boys from South Florida at sunset on Friday, a week after they disappeared while on a fishing trip off the state's Atlantic Ocean coast.

The search for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen has spanned nearly 50,000 square nautical miles, an area roughly the size of the state of Florida, up to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the Coast Guard said. This is nearly 1,000 miles by land north of Jupiter, Florida, where the teens launched their boat.

"The decision to suspend was excruciating and gut-wrenching for me personally," Coast Guard Captain Mark Fedor said at a news conference, noting that "the case is not closed."

The boys, who were fishing buddies and neighbors in their Palm Beach County hometown, were last seen buying fuel for their 19-foot, single-engine vessel on Friday afternoon.

Two days later, the U.S. Coast Guard found their overturned boat about 180 miles north of Jupiter, along with one life vest.

The boys' family members said in a statement that they would continue private search and rescue efforts, according to local media reports.

Relatives have been holding out hope that several items missing from the boat, including life vests and a cooler, could be keeping them alive, the Sun Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale reported.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it had taken into consideration the age of the boys, their familiarity with the water and their will to live.

The agency said it also had contacted authorities in the Bahamas and searched in the area following reports on social media that the boys were headed to islands in the Caribbean.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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The U.S. Coast Guard plans to suspend its search for two 14-year-old boys from South Florida at sunset on Friday, a week after they disappeared while on a fishing trip off the state's Atlantic Ocean coast. The search for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen has spanned nearly...
coast guard, search, missing, teens, suspend
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2015-02-31
Friday, 31 Jul 2015 03:02 PM
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