Palm Beach News

Coast Guard Ends Search for Missing Tequesta Teen Boaters; Families to Continue

The Coast Guard is suspending its search for missing boys Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos at sunset tonight after having searched tens of thousands of miles for them. 

However, their families vow to continue their privately -organized search and to request help from volunteers.  They insist the next 48 hours are critical. 

Their statement: 

On behalf of both families we would like to thank the US Coast Guard and other Federal government and local agencies in their relentless efforts to search and rescue our boys. Our families would also like to thank Chief Elg and his entire staff of the Tequesta Police Department for all of their continued efforts in the safe return of our boys.

Our families have been informed that the continued search and rescue efforts will be suspended at sunset this evening. We also have been ensured that the case is not closed and if pertinent details emerge or credible information comes forward that we will have the assistance of the US Coast Guard to investigate this information.

Our families’ are committed to continue the search and rescue efforts of our boys with the aid of volunteer pilots and aircraft. We would like to thank Mr. John Travolta and countless others for their immediate assistance and personal concern for the rescue of our children, and we are extremely appreciative for the aircraft and pilots that they have donated for the rescue of our boys. We have established "The Perry & Austin Rescue Fund" which will continue to be utilized to fund private aircraft, boat fuel and any other additional resources needed for the immediate recovery of our missing boys.

We encourage those who are interested in joining the search efforts by land, air or sea to contact the following email address: [email protected] (NO PRESS INQUIRIES PLEASE)

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our families, friends, neighbors, colleagues, community, along with strangers from around the globe for your prayers and thoughts as well as all that have contributed to the Perry and Austin Rescue Fund to ensure the boys safe return. In addition, we would like to thank our dear friend and neighbor Mr. Joe Namath for his support, friendship, concern and efforts in helping create awareness surrounding the safe return of Perry & Austin.

Our families ask that the media respect our privacy as the use of our time will be focused on the continued dedicated search and rescue of our beloved children.

Meanwhile , laypersons are coordinating on several pages called "Find Austin and Perry. This seems to be the most active one. 

Congressman Patrick Murphy implored the Coast Guard to keep looking. he said in a statement: 

"On behalf of the Jupiter community I am humbled to represent, I have a simple message for the Coast Guard: Keep looking. Water temperatures are warm, and Austin and Perry know the water well.

"Our community is incredibly grateful for the Cuttermen, Aviation Crewmembers, and Search and Rescue Planners of the Seventh Coast Guard District, who are scouring the Atlantic Coast for Austin and Perry. It has been long, thorough, and exhausting. But the search is not over. I urge the Coast Guard in the strongest possible terms to continue searching until our boys are found."