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Capsized Boat Found in Search for Boys Missing Off Florida Coast

NFL legend and family friend Joe Namath also joined in the plea for help finding young boaters Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen.
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An overturned boat was found Sunday belonging to two teenage boys who disappeared while fishing off the Florida coast two days earlier, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The 19-foot white single-engine boat, which Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, took out off the coast of Jupiter on Friday, was found about 67 nautical miles off the coast near Daytona Beach, Coast Guard Petty Officer Stephen Lehmann said. There was no sign of the boys, according to the Coast Guard.

A Coast Guard spokesman said one life vest was found in the hull of the boat, but the boys' families did not know how many life vests were originally on board or whether the boys would have been wearing them.

The Coast Guard has anchored the boat where it was located, and crews are searching the area off Daytona Beach, which is about 200 miles north of Jupiter, for the teens.

"This provides us an intelligent view of the currents in the area, which helps us dictate where we are going to put our personnel," Lehmann said. "Our priority is finding these boys."

Austin and Perry were last seen buying $110 worth of fuel at 1:30 p.m. and were reported missing about 5 p.m. when they didn't go home when they were expected, according to the Coast Guard. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the waters off the Jupiter coast were likely rough because of thunderstorms, said Nick Wiltgen, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

Conditions have been more favorable for the search effort, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma said. The Coast Guard has covered nearly 14,500 square nautical miles and expects to have 20,000 square nautical miles searched by the end of Sunday.

The boys' families offered a $100,000 reward Sunday for anyone who helps to bring them home safely.

"We think clearly that people want the boys rescued without money," but "there is a little extra incentive beyond the norm," Perry's stepfather, Nick Korniloff, told reporters. "We'll do anything to get our children back."

Hall-of-Fame NFL player Joe Namath, who is Korniloff's neighbor and said he has known Perry for 10 years, also appealed to the public for help.

"We'll keep on looking until we find them," the Super Bowl-winning quarterback said. "We're all praying. ... The good Lord's gotta help us out."

Namath and Korniloff said the teens are highly experienced on the water, but Korniloff said they are not allowed to take the boat out into the ocean. A social media post from one of the boys indicated that they might have been headed to the Bahamas, however, according to the Coast Guard.

Korniloff said the teens would have never been allowed to boat to the Bahamas alone. Austin's mom, Carly Black, told NBC station WPTV of West Palm Beach she's holding out hope that the boys are alive.

"I just want them home. I know he's coming home. I just want him home now," she said.

Perry's mother, Pamela Cohen, echoed that she is confident the boys will be found. "We wholeheartedly believe that they are out there and alive," she said.

A prayer vigil will be held Sunday night at Jupiter Christian School, where the teens just completed eighth grade.