UPDATE: Boat and Phone That Belonged To Missing Teens Found Near Bermuda Coast
By Space Coast Daily // April 23, 2016
spotted 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda
TEQUESTA, FLORIDA – The boat and iPhone belonging to Austin Stephanos were recovered near the Bermuda Coast, according to one of the parents of the missing boys.
Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14 years old, went missing last July after their boat did not return from a fishing trip.
Coast Guard Sector Miami command center received the report that Austin and Perry were aboard a 19-foot white single engine center console vessel and were last seen in the Jupiter area after purchasing $110 worth of fuel.
The Norwegian research Edda Fjord was headed to Norway on March 18 when it located the capsized missing vessel about 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda, according to Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss.
The father of Austin Stephanos, Blu Stephanos, released the following statement Saturday on the recovery of the boat and phone that belonged to Austin, reported by the Palm Beach Post.
“In mid-March, I was contacted by a Havard Melvaer, captain of the Norwegian transport and supply vessel the Edda Fjord, who notified our family that they had recovered my son’s missing boat off the coast of Bermuda. Capt. Melvaer provided us with some photos of the salvage operation and items recovered from the vessel. These photos verified that it was, indeed, the missing boat.
“I wrote back to Capt. Melvaer to thank him for devoting the time and manpower necessary to recover my son’s boat and the care they took to preserve its contents.
“Capt. Melvaer returned a heartfelt reply explaining that, as a father of three boys, the story of Austin and Perry had affected him deeply. He wrote about growing up in Norway and how the support and freedom he received from his parents gave him the opportunity to explore, to try and fail, and how it made him the person he is today. He went on to say that, since recovering the boat, his entire crew had thought a lot about the boys and said, ‘I think they will follow us in our hearts and minds for the rest of our lives.’
“I can say without hesitation that our deep appreciation for the compassionate efforts of Capt. Melvaer and the crew of the Edda Fjord will be something that remains in our hearts as well.
“At this point, our family is hoping and praying that Austin’s iPhone, now in the care Florida Fish & Wildlife, can be restored to working order so that we can try to recover from it any precious memories that it might contain,” said Stephanos.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife department also released a statement on the recovery of the vessel that carried Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos last July.
“On March 18, 2016, Multi Purpose Supply Vessel Edda Fjord, while enroute to Norway, discovered a capsized small craft approximately 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda. The boat was subsequently confirmed to be the boat that belonged to Austin Stephanos.
“The FWC has notified the families of the two boys with this new information. The boat is scheduled to arrive by shipping container to the United States on May 16.
“The personal effects that were onboard the boat will be returned to the families of the victims, and subsequent information retrieval efforts from any of those items will be at their discretion.”