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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News
By Donna Paine and Erin McClam

The mothers of the Florida teenagers missing at sea for almost a week say they are still confident the boys will be found — and that the “mini-MacGyvers” are resourceful enough to survive in the meantime.

The Coast Guard has searched almost 40,000 square nautical miles since Friday, when Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, both 14, set off near Jupiter for a fishing expedition. Their boat was found Sunday, 180 miles to the north.

“It’s very trying, but we remain completely committed and confident that we will find our boys,” Pamela Cohen, Perry’s mother, told NBC News on Wednesday.

The Coast Guard described the search as “active and open” and focused off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina.

The mothers said they are drawing strength from each other, their hopes bolstered by support from all over the world. They also said they are encouraged because the boys grew up on the water. Both could swim before they could walk, and Cohen said they “have salt water running through their veins.”

“I think they’ve made a raft, between the cooler and the life jackets and whatever else they can find floating,” said Carly Black, Austin’s mother. “My husband keeps saying that he thinks one of them made a spear pole and they’re out there eating sushi. These boys are like mini-MacGyvers.”