Hope Fades as Coast Guard Suspends Search for Son of Art Miami Founder
A Florida congressman urges the Coast Guard "keep searching."
After seven days of relentless searching in the waters off Florida and Georgia for two missing 14-year old boys, the US Coast Guard announced today that it will suspend the search for Perry Cohen, the stepson of Art Miami founder Nick Korniloff, and the boy’s friend Austin Stephanos.
The search will be suspended at sunset on July 31, Captain Mark Fedor, of the Coast Guard’s 7th District in Miami, said at a news conference today.
The massive effort to find and rescue the boys has so far spanned eight days and 50,000 nautical miles.
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) July 31, 2015
The families of both boys intend to continue their private search with the help of funds raised for boats, private planes, and fuel to look for the missing boys.
Florida Congressman Patrick Murphy issued a press release today, stating:
“I have a simple message for the Coast Guard: Keep looking. Water temperatures are warm, and Austin and Perry know the water well.”
He continued, “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.”
Cohen and Stephanos went missing during a fishing trip on Friday July 24. In addition to the fundraising page, the hashtag label #FindAustinandPerry has been widely used on social media to help raise awareness about the missing boys and garner support for the rescue effort.
— Miranda (@mir_maiddd) July 31, 2015
Last weekend, Korniloff reached out directly to his art world connections for support. Former NY Jets football star Joe Namath, a neighbor and friend of both boys and their families, also joined the efforts.
Throughout the week, the local community around Jupiter in Florida held several candlelight vigils and fundraisers to support the rescue efforts. A $100,000 reward is offered for the safe return of the boys.
Two days after the boys went missing, authorities found the white, 19-foot, single-engine boat they were in, capsized off the coast of Florida. The families and thousands of supporters have held out hope that the boys are using certain items—missing from the boat—including a white cooler and possibly life vests, as flotation devices.
Donations to the GoFundMe account for private rescue efforts can be made here.
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