Update: 7/29/15: Still no signs of missing teen boaters off Florida’s Gulf coast
By Tamara Lush The Associated Press
Scouring the vast ocean expanse off Florida for two missing teen boaters is a long, tedious mission for the eight-person crew of the C-130 Hercules Coast Guard plane based out of Clearwater.
On Tuesday morning, the flight crew – including a public affairs officer and an Associated Press reporter – left Florida’s Gulf coast at midmorning and flew eastward.
Once the plane cleared the state’s other coast and was over the Atlantic, it dropped to 500 feet (150 metres) above the murky ocean. The crew eased open the back cargo ramp and two men flopped on their bellies so they could search the sea below.
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UPDATE: 7/27: TEQUESTA, Fla. (AP) — The Coast Guard says a boat belonging to two missing 14-year-old fishermen has been found off Florida’s Atlantic coast but neither boy was in or around the boat.
Petty Officer Steve Lehmann says the boat was found Sunday about 67 miles off Ponce de Leon Inlet in Volusia County.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1S58rYd) Carly Black, the mother of Austin Stephanos said, ”We are going to find them today. We are going to bring them home.”
Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos were last seen Friday in the Jupiter area buying fuel for their 19-foot boat.
Lehmann says the boat was found capsized.
UPDATE: Coast Guard continues search for missing teens
Update, 8:50 p.m. 7/26: The Coast Guard plans to continue the search for the missing teens after finding their capsized boat.
Crews will use a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane, MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and Station Canaveral 45-foot Response Boat to continue the search through the night, officials report.
Austin Stephanos is one of two teens the Coast Guard continues to search for Saturday morning. He and Perry Cohen set out from the Jupiter Inlet on a fishing trip yesterday.
Update, 6:20 p.m.: Hundreds of people are gathering for a vigil at Jupiter Christian School for two teens still missing at sea.
The Coast Guard has told the Palm Beach Post the capsized boat was initially spotted by a C-130 aircraft at 11 a.m.
The Coast Guard said the C-130 spotted the overturned vessel at the edge of the search pattern. A helicopter from Air Station Clearwater was dispatched and lowered a rescue swimmer, who was able to confirm the registration numbers of the boat, said Petty Officer Mark Barney.
Perry Cohen is one of two teens the Coast Guard continues to search for Saturday morning. He and Austin Stephanos set out from Jupiter Inlet on a fishing trip yesterday.
The Coast Guard searched some 25,000 square miles since Friday afternoon before finding the vessel very far off shore and up the coast, he said. It was unknown in early evening if the boat suffered any structural damage.
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Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jupiter Inlet