Coast Guard says search for boys lost at sea will continue

Officials say search will press forward into at least Friday

(US Coast Guard)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard said its search for two teenage boaters missing off Florida's Atlantic coast will press forward at least into Friday.

[PHOTOS:  Coast Guard searches for missing boaters]

Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss said crews will continue surveying waters from Florida to South Carolina throughout the day Thursday and overnight.

A determination beyond that hasn't been made, but Doss said there are no immediate plans to call off the search since searchers believe there's still a chance that the 14-year-olds, Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, are still alive.

There are many unknowns about the boys, including whether they are wearing life jackets, whether they might be clinging to a cooler or some other object or if they have drinking water or food.

The Coast Guard makes its decision erring on the side of best-case scenarios, while still noting there are limits to how long humans can survive in the open ocean.

The teens have been missing since they left on a fishing boat last Friday.


Authorities on Thursday released a 911 call made by the stepfather of Cohen.

Nick Korniloff called the Jupiter Police Department last Friday to alert them about his stepson and Stephanos.

In a calm voice, Korniloff said the boys hadn't been heard from since about 11:30 a.m. and calls to a cellphone went unanswered.

"Usually he checks in and he's told to check in on a regular basis," Korniloff said.

"And you know we had a storm before, too?" the dispatcher said.

Korniloff said the boys went offshore, outside the bounds of their expected trip, though it's not clear how he knew that.

"We had no idea they were going offshore," he said.

Wednesday night dozens gathered at Cocoa Beach for a vigil, showing support and providing hope in the search.

The uncle of one of the boys says the private search efforts will continue even after the Coast Guard suspends the search.

Coast Guard said it has covered nearly 44,000 square-nautical-miles in searching for the missing teens.

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