Missing Florida teens' boat found overturned and empty

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 26, 2015 2:16 PM

(Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday afternoon found an overturned and empty boat belonging to two teenage boys who went missing off the Florida coast during a fishing expedition two days ago, the service said.

The 19-foot single-engine boat was located off the coast of Ponce Inlet, a town about 180 miles north of Jupiter, where the boys were last seen, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, remain missing.

Airplanes, helicopters and speedboats had covered more than 14,000 square nautical miles in the search for the pair, who were last seen on the white fishing boat in the waters of Palm Beach County, Coast Guard said.

National Football League Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, who is a neighbor of the boys, has offered a $100,000 reward to qualified searchers for the boys' safe return.

"We'll keep on looking until they find them," Namath said at a news conference on Sunday.

Cohen and Stephanos bought $110 worth of fuel on Friday afternoon, the last time they were seen, and were reported missing when they failed to return that evening as scheduled, the Coast Guard said.

Thunderstorms in the area where the boys set off likely made the waters rough on Friday afternoon and evening, The Weather Channel reported.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Eric Walsh and Grant McCool)