Missing Florida Boys: Families Seeking Pilots to Aid in Search Near Carolinas

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Two missing Florida boys have the whole east coast in a frenzy, but certainly no one is as frenzied as their desperate families. The Coast Guard officially called off the search for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen on Friday. That doesn't mean the search is over, however.

The families of the two missing Florida boys started a GoFundMe webpage that has already raised close to $375,000. The families will use this money to fund private searches, and they are appealing to pilots in or near the Carolinas to come to their aid. They are seeking both airplane and helicopter pilots to search off the coasts of both North and South Carolina for the missing Florida boys.

The two 14-year-old boys went missing on July 24th, when they headed out from the Jupiter Inlet into the Atlantic Ocean on their 19-foot boat. The Coast Guard searched for several days, and covered almost 50,000 square nautical miles--ranging from Jupiter to the Carolinas--before suspending the search on Friday.

Businesses local to Tequesta, where the missing Florida boys families live, are ramping up efforts to help in the search. Some are donating a percentage of their earnings for Saturday to the search effort.

The GoFundMe page for Austin and Perry is still actively seeking donations, as it is uncertain how much money the families will need to continue with their search. If you want to donate to helping the search for these missing Florida boys, simply click on the link.

Some pilots have already joined the search effort. 19-year-old Andrew Register is co-piloting one search plane.

"I haven’t talked to the family,” Register said. “We’re just doing this out of the goodness of our hearts, trying to find these boys and bring them home to their family, because if I was in the same situation, I would want somebody to come look for me. You know? Treat others the way you want to be treated in life.”

If you know of pilots of any type of aircraft in or near the Carolinas who might be willing to help search for these missing Florida boys, please contact those in charge of the search at (561) 261-3400.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.