Boys' Fishing Boat Turns Up With Single Life Vest

US Coast Guard still looking for Perry Cohen, Austin Stephanos
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2015 5:22 PM CDT
Fishing Boat Turns Up Without Missing Boys
This combination made from photos provided by the US Coast Guard shows Perry Cohen, left, and Austin Stephanos, both 14 years old.    (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

The boat used by two boys who vanished off the Florida coast on Friday has turned up, overturned, with the boys gone. The single-engine boat launched by Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos from Jupiter, Fla., was found today roughly 67 nautical miles from Daytona Beach, the US Coast Guard tells NBC News. A life vest was still in the hull, but it's not clear how many vests the boat held or whether the 14-year-olds would have worn vests at all. Now the Coast Guard has anchored the white, 19-foot boat where it was found in order to aid their search. "This provides us an intelligent view of the currents in the area, which helps us dictate where we are going to put our personnel," says a Coast Guard officer.

So far they've covered almost 14,500 square nautical miles and say another 20,000 should be scoured by day's end. And the boys' families are offering $100,000 for anyone who aids in their safe return: "We think clearly that people want the boys rescued without money," says Perry's stepfather, but "there is a little extra incentive beyond the norm. We'll do anything to get our children back." Austin's mom says she still believes they may be alive, telling NBC 5 Florida that "I just want them home. I know he's coming home. I just want him home now." Perry and Austin were apparently heading for the Bahamas on a fishing trip Friday when they ran into rough thunderstorms. (More thunderstorms stories.)

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