Families of Missing Florida Teens, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, Call Off Search

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

The families of two teenagers who disappeared during a fishing trip off the Florida coast called off their private search Saturday, more than two weeks after the boys went missing.

The U.S. Coast Guard spent more than a week searching the waters off Florida, Georgia and South Carolina for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, who vanished with their 19-foot single engine fishing boat off of the coast of Jupiter on July 24.

The Coast Guard called their search off last Saturday, but Austin and Perry's parents vowed to keep searching for the teens, who were described as experienced boaters.

A fund set up to pay for fuel and supplies for the private search has raised nearly $500,000, but the families of the teens decided to end their efforts at sunset Saturday.

"Absent new information, continuing the search is not practical,” said a statement from family spokesperson, Vincent D. McBeth.

Perry and Austin's families thanked the Coast Guard and everyone who helped search beaches and waters for any sign of the boys over fifteen days.

"We love our boys and want them home. Today, our hope becomes our prayer — that one day Perry and Austin will be returned to us," they said in a statement.