The Coast Guard says it found the boat belonging to two 14-year-old boys who disappeared off Florida’s coast during a fishing trip on Friday.
The Navy joined the search, adding the USS Carney to a Coast Guard search team that has covered about 29,000 square nautical miles — by air and sea — in the hunt for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen.
Football legend Joe Namath, a neighbor who knows both teenagers, is offering a $100,000 reward for the boys’ safe return.
The search has taken on extra urgency after the Coast Guard located the boat the two boys had been using, according to the Washington Post.
The capsized vessel was discovered Sunday about 67 nautical miles off Ponce de Leon Inlet in Volusia County, but there was no sign of Stephanos or Cohen in or around the boat, according to the Associated Press.
The boys — who were heading in the direction of the Bahamas — were last seen at a marina in Jupiter, Fla., about 1:30 p.m. Friday, when they bought $110 worth of fuel for their white 19-foot, single-engine boat, authorities said.
Perhaps a sign of the media times, a debate quickly broke out on social media about whether two 14-year-olds should have been alone offshore.
“Boating is a way of life for some families, mine included,” Dawn Quarles argued on Facebook, according to a separate Washington Post article. “My 15-year-old has been boating alone and with buddies since he was 12. He is trained, certified and has thousands of hours logged on the water. This is an accident that could have easily happened to adults. Engine trouble happens to everyone. No need to judge these parents, you don’t know them or their kids.”