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Families Of Missing Florida Teen Sailors End Their Private Search

The families said in a joint statement that continuing the search for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen is no longer "practical."

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The families of the two teen boaters who vanished off the Florida coast last month have ended their private search for the duo, according to local media reports.

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The families of Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos said in a joint statement on Saturday that "absent new information, continuing the search is not practical."

"We love our boys and want them home," the families said. "Today, our hope becomes our prayer — that one day Perry and Austin will be returned to us. We thank everyone for their dedicated efforts and support."

The families also thanked all the volunteers and the Coast Guard for searching for their children. The Coast Guard suspended its search for the 14-year-olds on July 31, a decision Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor called "excruciating and gut-wrenching."

The boys vanished on July 24 after embarking on a fishing trip. Their capsized boat was found 65 miles off the Florida coast two days later.

Both teens were experienced on the water. Their families said it is possible they could have constructed a floatation device out of their life vests, a cooler, and the boat's engine cover.

A $100,000 reward has been offered for information about the boys, and a GoFundMe account to contribute to the search raised almost half a million dollars.

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Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at stephanie.mcneal@buzzfeed.com.

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