Teens Missing at Sea: Search Area Stretches from Florida to Charleston

Search expanded for two Florida teens who've been missing at sea for days.

ByEmily Shapiro
July 28, 2015, 1:14 PM

— -- The Coast Guard has expanded it search for two missing teens as far north as Charleston, South Carolina, in a desperate bid to find the teens, who disappeared in the waters off of Florida last Friday.

Officials said they had searched nearly 31,000 square miles as of Tuesday evening in the approximately 500-mile stretch from Jupiter, Florida to Charleston.

A Coast Guard chopper had been dispatched today to Brunswick, Georgia after receiving a report of something small and rectangular in the water.

The sighting was of an object that resembled a Styrofoam cooler lid, Coast Guard public affairs specialist Mark Barney told ABC News, but the Coast Guard later said the reported object was not connected to the teens' disappearance.

On Monday, Coast Guard Captain Mark Fedor told ABC News the boys apparently had a cooler on board their boat.

Officials said the search in the Atlantic Ocean for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, goes as far north as Savannah, Georgia, and as far south as Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to WPBF.

Austin and Perry left on a fishing trip in Florida on Friday morning and they were reported missing Friday evening, authorities said.

On Sunday, their boat was found capsized and damaged off the Ponce de Leon Inlet in central Florida, the Coast Guard said, noting that neither boy was in or around the boat.

Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath, a neighbor of the families who's known the boys for years, said Sunday he's confident that the boys "know what they're doing" at sea.

“Austin’s been sharp and on the water a good while. Perry is just as sharp as can be," Namath said.

The boys' mothers also expressed confidence.

Perry's mother, Pamela Cohen, said, "Perry has been on a boat really since he was seven."

"Austin, this is his fourth boat," said Carly Black, Austin's mother. "He's been around boats since before he could walk."

But the search for the boys still remains a race against time. The seas where Austin and Perry went missing is relatively warm, Coast Guard Captain Mark Fedor said Monday, but he added that the environment is still dangerous. Fedor estimated that Austin and Perry could likely survive about 4 or 5 days at sea based in part on survivability charts.

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