JUPITER (CBSMiami) – The long search for two missing teen boaters is being brought to an end.
After 16 long days, the families of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen have announced that they will end the search that has stretched hundreds of miles along the Atlantic coast, according to a family spokesperson.
The families “faced the harsh reality of no new, credible evidence or clues to guide the search,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The two boys, both 14-years-old, were last seen Friday, July 24th and their capsized boat was found two days later.
They were headed out into the Atlantic in a 19-foot center console boat.
Their parents believed their fishing outing would take them to a local river and waterway, as was the rule in previous solo trips, not to deep Atlantic waters.
The U.S. Coast Guard suspended their search for the boys on Friday, July 31st.
The families of the two teens continued to search, raising just under $480,000 on a GoFundMe page that paid for boats and private airplanes to search the waters stretching from Florida all the way up to South Carolina.
Here is the full statement released from the families of Austin and Perry:
“We love our boys and want them home. Today, our hope becomes our paryer – that one day Perry and Austin will be returned to us. We thank everyone for their dedicated efforts and support. We will never stop looking for our boys, Austin and Perry. We want to thank the U.S. Coast Guard and the many volunteers from Florida to Maine whose comtributions were nothing shrot of extraordinary. We express a special debt of gratitude to the Palm Beach community for its generosity and out pouring of love and support. We ask that you join us in our prayer that one day Perry and Austin will be reunited with their families.”
A charitable foundation is being established by the families in honor of Austin and Perry. The foundation will aim to educate young boaters and seek legislative action to enhance boater safety.