Coast Guard Ends "Gut-Wrenching" Search For Teens Lost At Sea

Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS
After a massive sea and land search covering the East Coast from South Florida all the way to South Carolina, the Coast Guard has sadly stopped looking for Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, two 14-year-old Florida boys who went missing just over a week ago, on Friday, July 24, reports the New York Post. Their capsized boat was found two days later.

"We were desperate to find Austin and Perry," Capt. Mark Fedor told the Post, noting that the "excruciating and gut-wrenching" search was "particularly more painful" for many who, like him, had children around the same ages.

The two teens, who grew up boating on the water in Tequesta, Florida, set off last Friday on what was supposed to be just another fishing trip on the nearby Loxahatchee River and Intracoastal Waterway, a stretch of water upon which they were allowed to fish unsupervised. But after fueling up at a local marina around 1:30 that afternoon, the boys took to the water on their 19-foot boat and calls to their cell phones began to go unanswered. After a batch of summer storms hit and Austin and Perry still couldn't be reached, their families alerted police.

Calling the search a "true all-hands-on-deck effort," Fedor cited the boys lifetime of experience on the water and "will to live" as more than enough cause to have kept the search going for so long. The families of the two teens released a statement thanking the Coast Guard, and will continue a private search using volunteer pilots and aircraft that we can only hope will be fruitful. Our thoughts are with them in this difficult time.
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