Teens missing on fishing trip strayed from agreed-upon route

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Coast Guard: Teens Could Survive For 4 To 5 Days At Sea

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Two teens missing at sea had strayed from the agreed-upon boundaries for their fishing trip, the stepfather of one of the boys said Tuesday, as the Coast Guard continued a massive search off Florida's Atlantic coast.

Nick Korniloff said his 14-year-old stepson Perry Cohen and the boy's friend Austin Stephanos were supposed to remain on the Loxahatchee River and the Intracoastal Waterway during their outing Friday. He said he didn't believe the boys were heading to the Bahamas, as some have speculated, but that they obviously ended up in the deep waters they were supposed to steer clear of.

"It's a bit of a surprise to see, for us, that they went offshore," Korniloff said.

At this point though, after four days of searches for the boys, the stepfather said why the boys ended up in the Atlantic is irrelevant, and he's focusing on the years of experience they had on the water that could keep them alive. His stepson, he said, learned to swim before he walked, and spent every opportunity he could boating, fishing, snorkeling and otherwise enjoying the ocean.

"We have a huge amount of confidence and I think that's a testament to why the Coast Guard is working so hard," Korniloff said. "They're doing that because the boys have all the ingredients that could lead to a big success here."

The boys were last seen Friday afternoon buying $110 worth of fuel near Jupiter. Thunderstorms and heavy rains were forecast in the Jupiter area later Friday afternoon. However, Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor called it "typical South Florida weather" that didn't provide an immediate answer to what happened to the teens.

The Coast Guard was alerted at 5 p.m. that the boys were overdue, and the search began. The 19-foot boat was found Sunday, capsized, off Ponce Inlet, more than 180 miles north of where the boys started their journey. The search has continued, day and night, with areas of concentration moving based on the Gulf Stream and ocean conditions.

The search area has steadily moved north, with crews focused on a swath of water from Daytona Beach, Florida, up through Savannah, Georgia. By Tuesday morning, the Coast Guard had scoured an area the size of West Virginia.

"We're still actively searching, still doing what we can to find these two," Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss said, noting three Coast Guard cutters, a Navy ship and a plane were deployed Tuesday in the search.

The teens' families pledged a $100,000 reward in the search and a famous neighbor — NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath — promised to continue searching local beaches in hopes of finding clues.

Though the boys' boat was overturned it did not appear damaged. No foul play was suspected. One life jacket was found near the boat, though it was unclear how many life jackets had been on board.

Water temperatures were warm and not cited as a factor in the boys' survival.

Florida requires minors to have boating safety instruction in order to operate a boat of 10 horsepower or greater, but no licenses are issued. Korniloff said both boys had completed the course.

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Follow Matt Sedensky on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sedensky .


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Teens missing on fishing trip strayed from agreed-upon route
This combination made from photos provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows Perry Cohen, left, and Austin Stephanos, both 14 years old. Cohen and Stephanos were last seen Friday afternoon, July 24, 2015, in the Jupiter, Fla. area buying fuel for their 19-foot boat before embarking on a fishing trip. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)
Candles with handwritten messages saying "Come Home Safe" and "Hold on Boys" were seen at Jupiter Inlet in Jupiter, Fla., Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. After hundreds of rescue workers fanned out across a massive swath of the Atlantic for a full week, the Coast Guard's search for two teenage fishermen ended Friday. Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen have been missing since July 24, when they took a small boat out of the inlet. (Bruce R. Bennett/Palm Beach Post via AP)
A sign at Tequesta's First Presbyterian Church reads "Praying for Austin & Perry and their families" Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015, in Tequesta, Fla. After hundreds of rescue workers fanned out across a massive swath of the Atlantic for a full week, the Coast Guard's search for two teenage fishermen ended Friday. Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen have been missing since July 24. (Bruce R. Bennett/Palm Beach Post via AP)
A teak plaque topped by a clear lighthouse as a tribute to missing teens Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen is displayed at Jupiter Inlet in Jupiter, Fla., Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. After hundreds of rescue workers fanned out across a massive swath of the Atlantic for a full week, the Coast Guard's search for two teenage fishermen ended Friday. Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen have been missing since July 24, when they took a small boat out of the inlet. (Bruce R. Bennett/Palm Beach Post via AP)
Volunteers take donations during a fundraiser for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen at the Square Grouper in Jupiter, Fla., Friday, July 31, 2015. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)
Carolyn Vought, left, and Vickie Partlow hug during a fundraiser for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen at the Square Grouper in Jupiter, Fla., Friday, July 31, 2015. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post via AP)
Joe Floyd, a relative of Austin Stephanos, reads a poem during a fundraiser to help continue the search for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, at the Square Grouper, Friday, July 31, 2015 in Jupiter, Fla. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post via AP)
A banner hangs at the Castaways Marina with pictures of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen. After 8 days of searching the ocean, the U.S. Coast Guard ended their search for the boys. Friends and relatives attended a fundraiser at the Square Grouper, Friday, July 31, 2015 in Jupiter, Fla. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post via AP)
Girls wear t-shirts they bought at to help fund the ongoing private search for Nick Cohen and Austin Stephanos who have been missing since they took their boat out of the Jupiter Inlet, Friday, during a fundraiser at Jumby Bay Island Grill, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Jupiter, Fla. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post via AP)
People fill the Jumby Bay Island Grill, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Jupiter, Fla., during a fundraiser to pay for private search efforts for Nick Cohen and Austin Stephanos who have been missing since they took their boat out of the Jupiter Inlet Friday. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post via AP)
Andrew Grubowski, 10, of Palm City, Fla., releases a lantern during a vigil for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Stuart, Fla. The two teenagers have been missing since last Friday when they went out on a boat to go fishing from Tequesta, Fla. A search continues for the boys from the Atlantic waters off Daytona Beach, Florida, north through Savannah, Ga. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
People join hands during a vigil for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Stuart, Fla. The teenagers have been missing since last Friday when they went out on a boat to go fishing from Tequesta, Fla. A search continues for the boys from the Atlantic waters off Daytona Beach, Florida, north through Savannah, Ga. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Camarda, left, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Matthews scour the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Savannah, Ga., Tuesday, July 28, 2015, looking for two missing teenage boaters. Camarda and Matthews are crew members from Air Station Clearwater, Florida. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)
In this image released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 1st Class Mike Crosby, right, scans the surface of the Atlantic Ocean through his binoculars while in the cockpit of a Coast Guard HC-130J, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, while searching for Florida teens Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. The Coast Guard pressed ahead with a fifth day of searches for the boys while their families coordinated air searches of their own. (Senior Chief Petty Officer Sarah B. Foster/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)
Nick Korniloff, second from right, talks with Tequesta police officers outside of his home Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Tequesta, Fla. Korniloff is the stepfather of Perry Cohen, one of two teenagers who have been missing since last Friday when they went out on a boat to go fishing from Tequesta, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Pictures of Perry Cohen, left, and Austin Stephanos, right, are on display at fundraiser at Jumby Bay Island Grill, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Jupiter, Fla., during a fundraiser to pay for private search efforts for Nick Cohen andAustin Stephanos who have been missing since they took their boat out of the Jupiter Inlet Friday. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post via AP)
Mary Kaye Hagenbuch, center, says a prayer for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen during a prayer vigil at Jupiter Lighthouse Park, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Tequesta, Fla. The teenagers have been missing since last Friday when they went out on a boat to go fishing from Tequesta. A search continues for the boys from the Atlantic waters off Daytona Beach, Fla., north through Savannah, Ga. Also pictured are, from left, Hunter Wilkinson, Susan Wilkinson, Lauren Wilkinson, Susie Mydock, second from right, and Rob Hagenbuch (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post via AP)
Carly Black, center, mother of Austin Stephanos, one of the missing teenage fishermen, listens as the U.S. Coast Guard makes a statement outside of the homes of the two teenagers missing since a fishing trip last Friday, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Tequesta, Fla. The Coast Guard announced that the search for Nick Cohen and Austin Stephanos continues. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Heather Kenney, right, of Jensen Beach, Fla., stands with her son Xander, 11, during a vigil for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Stuart, Fla. The two teenagers have been missing since last Friday when they went out on a boat to go fishing from Tequesta, Fla. A search continues for the boys from the Atlantic waters off Daytona Beach, Florida, north through Savannah, Ga. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lilly Folds lights paper lanterns during a candlelight vigil and paper balloon release at Jupiter Inlet Park, Monday, July 27, 2015, for teenagers Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen in Jupiter, Fla. The teens were last seen Friday afternoon buying fuel near Jupiter and were believed to have been heading toward the Bahamas. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post via AP)
Two girls embrace during a vigil for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Stuart, Fla. The teenagers have been missing since last Friday when they went out on a boat to go fishing from Tequesta, Fla. A search continues for the boys from the Atlantic waters off Daytona Beach, Florida, north through Savannah, Ga. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Julia Wolf, 16, left, and Jordan Harley, right, both of Stuart, Fla., hold candles during a vigil for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Stuart, Fla. The two teenagers have been missing since last Friday when they went out on a boat to go fishing from Tequesta, Fla. A search continues for the boys from the Atlantic waters off Daytona Beach, Florida, north through Savannah, Ga. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Carl Hodges, of Stuart, Fla., right, reads a prayer during a vigil for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Stuart, Fla. The teenagers have been missing since last Friday when they went out on a boat to go fishing from Tequesta, Fla. A search continues for the boys from the Atlantic waters off Daytona Beach, Florida, north through Savannah, Ga. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Map locates Jupiter, Fla., where two teens went missing on a fishing trip; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm;
A man talks to a police officer outside the house of one of the two missing 14-year-old fishermen, Sunday, July 26, 2015, in Tequesta, Fla. The Coast Guard says a boat belonging to the boys has been found off Florida's Atlantic coast but neither boy was in or around the boat. Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos were last seen Friday in the Jupiter area buying fuel for their 19-foot boat. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
A group of people hug before leaving the house of one of the two missing 14-year-old fishermen, Sunday, July 26, 2015, in Tequesta, Fla. The Coast Guard said a boat belonging to the boys has been found off Florida's Atlantic coast but neither boy was in or around the boat. Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos were last seen Friday in the Jupiter area buying fuel for their 19-foot boat. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
A police car sits in the driveway of the house of one of the two missing 14-year-old fishermen, Sunday, July 26, 2015, in Tequesta, Fla. The Coast Guard said a boat belonging to the boys has been found off Florida's Atlantic coast but neither boy was in or around the boat. Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos were last seen Friday in the Jupiter area buying fuel for their 19-foot boat. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Caden Key, 14, of Jupiter, Fla., talks with the news media after fueling his jet ski at the JIB Club Marina, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Tequesta, Fla. Key knew of the two Florida teens who've been missing since Friday, July 24, who were last seen fueling their boat at this marina before heading out to fish. The search continues for the boys, from the Atlantic waters off Daytona Beach, Fla., north through Savannah, Ga. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Katie Kleinman, 14, of Jupiter, Fla., talks with the media as she and a friend stopped to fuel their jet ski at the JIB Club Marina, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Tequesta, Fla. Kleinman knew the two Florida teens who've been missing since Friday, July 24, who were last seen fueling their boat at this marina before heading out to fish. The search continues for the boys, from the Atlantic waters off Daytona Beach, Fla., north through Savannah, Ga. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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