Palm Beach News

Families of Missing Teen Boaters: Please Comb Beaches in Florida and Georgia

Two 14-year-old boys — Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen — went missing Friday afternoon while boating off the coast near Jupiter Inlet. The Coast Guard announced today that the Navy is joining the search for the boys, while their parents urged people to comb the shoreline looking for signs of them. 

The Coast Guard searched all weekend for the boys and found their 19-foot boat overturned 67 miles offshore of Volusia County on Sunday afternoon. One flotation device was on the boat. 

Although initial reports said they may have been heading toward the Bahamas, their families insisted they were just heading toward a good fishing spot off the coast. Both boys are said to be capable, lifelong boaters. Austin's Instagram handle is "austinfishkiller," and he frequently posted pictures of fishing and boating after school. 

Perry's mom, Pamela Cohen, posted on Instagram, "Anyone that is located near the beaches from Jupiter Florida up the coast to the beaches of Georgia — PLEASE GO OUT AND WALK YOUR BEACHES!!' Look for any sign of our boys Perry and Austin. KEEP THE FAITH." 

His stepfather, Nick Korniloff, wrote on Facebook: "I need everyone that has a friend who lives near or on the beach anywhere from Palm Beach FL - Georgia to Facebook them and ask them to walk and comb all the beaches — our boys had a Yeti cooler and the boat is missing its engine cover ( Silver/Grey with no labels) we are looking to activate a major Beach Comb of the South East — looking for volunteers to organize in each seaside community NOW!!! — thanks for all the love and support for our boys — we are believers that they will return home to us." 

Both of Perry's parents work for Art Miami — his stepfather is a partner/founder of Art Basel's satellite art fairs including Context, Aqua, and Art Wynwood, while his mother works in marketing for the fairs. Austin is related to the founder of DiVosta Homes. The boys live across the street from one another in Tequesta. One of their neighbors, football great Joe Namath, offered a $100,000 reward leading to the boys.

While volunteer boaters were itching to join the search for the boys, the Coast Guard has warned that search and rescue can be dangerous and asked that the mission be left to professionals.

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Deirdra Funcheon