Families of Missing Florida Teens Call Off Search but Family Remains Hopeful
The search for the two Florida teenagers who went missing with their boat has been called off.
The families of Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos called off the search on Sunday, reported the Associated Press.
The private search included a helicopter, a plane, and boats, and had continued past the U.S. Coast Guard portion of the search.
Cohen and Stephanos, both 14, vanished with their 19-foot single-engine fishing boat off the coast of Jupiter, Florida on July 24.
Both kids had been boating since they were young, and parents described them as experienced boaters. Perry’s stepfather had told CNN that the family was “people of the water.”
But with no new information coming to light and over 25,000 square miles of ocean searched, the call was made.
“Absent new information, continuing the search is not practical,” said a statement from family spokesperson, Vincent D. McBeth.
The families said that they remain hopeful, though.
We love our boys and want them home. Today, our hope becomes our prayer — that one day Perry and Austin will be returned to us,” they said in a statement.
“To each and every one of you both near and far, we thank you from the deepest part of our hearts for all of the continued outpouring of love, thoughts, prayers and help in the search and rescue efforts of my sweet Perry and darling Austin,” Perry’s mother Pamela added via her Facebook page.
“We will never give up and will continue to love these boys more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today. We are shattered, but your love will help be our glue. Bless each and every one of you.”
The families also said they want to establish a foundation that would promote youth boating education and safety.