SEARCH CONTINUES FOR SOUTH FLORIDA TEENS LOST AT SEA
Jupiter, Fla. to Wilmington, NC (Aug. 4, 2015)--The families of Perry and Austin, the two teenage boys lost at sea when their 19-foot Sea Craft boat capsized off the Florida coast, are continuing private search efforts for their beloved boys.
Following steadfast efforts by the US Coast Guard started July 24, when Perry and Austin were reported missing, the agency officially suspended its search at sunset Friday, July 31.
Last seen heading out of Jupiter Inlet, the boy’s capsized boat was found two days later 144 nautical miles north of Jupiter Inlet and 65 nautical miles east of Daytona Beach, Fla.
The families jointly established a GoFundMe campaign last week, “The Perry and Austin Rescue Fund,” to collect private donations to underwrite a costly private search concurrently with the Coast Guard rescue mission, and beyond its suspension. Funds are used toward fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, ships, boats, fuel, and other resources required to sustain a robust and comprehensive search. The GoFundMe campaign has been fully funded and is no longer accepting donations.
“We are committed to continuing the search to find our Austin and Perry. The outpouring of community support for our families in our time of need has been overwhelming. From the pilots and mariners who have provided their planes, helicopters, ships, and boats, to the volunteers who have conducted beach searches, provided electronic surveillance, and launched social media campaigns to heighten awareness, to the financial contributions that fund the search; the generosity, goodwill, and heartfelt prayers of so many have sustained us during this trying ordeal,” said the families in a joint statement.
The privately funded search spans from the coastline of Jupiter, Fla. to Wilmington, NC. Searchers are using containment fields in the Gulf Stream, scouring coastal waters, and investigating debris fields. According to a family spokesperson, the last two days of severe weather hampered the ability of the searchers to exercise the full scope of the operational plan. The spokesperson added, “We plan to surge assets and personnel on Wednesday, Aug. 5, to take full advantage of an environmental window that is expected to bring favorable weather conditions.”
A central focus is to locate articles known to have been on the boat in hopes it will narrow the search area for Perry and Austin. Canine life-scent tracking experts are on station to assist in the processing of articles recovered during the search. Articles still missing include life vests, a white YETI Tundra 35-quart cooler, a recently painted engine cover (Yamaha silver-grey) with no decals, a translucent Plano tackle box, and a pair of white Royal brand fishing/rain boots.