Searchers found one personal flotation device remaining on the capsized boat of two missing Florida teens Sunday as rescue crews continue hunting for the boys inside an area of 25,000 square miles.
The Coast Guard searched for missing 14-year-olds Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos throughout the night using a HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane, MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and a 45-foot response boat. The teens were last seen Friday afternoon buying $110 worth of gas before heading in the direction of the Bahamas to fish. The teens’ families are offering a $100,000 reward in the search.
The boys’ abandoned overturned 19-foot fishing boat was found around 11 a.m. Sunday about 67 miles off Ponce de Leon Inlet in Volusia County. Tequesta police told the Palm Beach Post that Coast Guard crews reported the “engine cover was found to be missing along with one personal flotation device still on the boat.” It’s unclear how many personal flotation devices were originally onboard the vessel.
Hundreds of family members, friends and classmates took part in a Sunday night prayer vigil at Jupiter Christian School, where Stephanos has been a student since kindergarten.
NFL legend Joe Namath, a neighbor of Cohen, also joined in the search Sunday. Namath appealed to anyone who may have information on the location of the boys to please come forward.
“We’re all praying,” Namath said at a press conference Sunday in Tequesta, Fla., with the families of the boys and the Coast Guard.
Family and friends have been posting updates in the Facebook group 'Find Austin & Perry.'
A note posted in the group by Rob Thomson Monday morning says the family wants everyone to be on the lookout for those items that were not found with the boat, as they may provide clues to the boys' whereabouts: