USCG: Missing teens boat found - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

USCG: Missing teens boat found

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The boat used by Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen when they disappeared last July have been recovered and is now on its way back to the U.S.

The boat was found 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda by a supply ship heading to Norway. Some personal belongings, including an iPhone was found with the boat.

Today the family of Perry Cohen released a statement thanking the ship's captain:

"The actions of yourself, crew and company will hopefully provide more details for us with hopes of finding out what exactly happened to our son and his friend."

At the Jupiter Inlet, a memorial remains for Austin and Perry, gone now for nearly 9 months.

"Terrible tragedy," says Dick Young of Palm Beach Gardens. "I was amazed that the boat hadn't been run across before now."

Perry and Austin disappeared last July after leaving the Jupiter Inlet for a fishing trip.

The U.S. Coast Guard found their boat two days later off the coast of New Smyrna Beach. When they went to retrieve the vessel, it was gone.

The search was called off a week after they disappeared after covering nearly 50,000 square miles along a stretch extending from the shore of Jupiter to South Carolina.

Last month, A Norwegian supply boat found the boat 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda identified by a serial number.

The boat carrying several personal items including Austin's iPhone. 

Perry's mother Pamela issued a statement:

"Throughout this ordeal, we have hoped and prayed that we will find out the truth about what happened to our beloved son. In a nearly miraculous turn of events, we now have what may be the key to answering so many question we all have about that fateful day. As a mother, I owe it to Perry to fight for him when he cannot. We need to avail ourselves of the best resources and intelligence to preserve and retrieve this potentially vital iPhone information. This is no less a serious matter to us, than it has been for the San Bernardino families. We all want truth and transparency. So far, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has left it to Austin’s Family to give their consent to put the iPhone in the hands of independent professionals in this area of expertise. And so far, we have no confirmation they are consenting to that fair process. We urge Austin’s Family to do the right thing and to allow law enforcement to retain the iPhone until arrangements can be made to retain the top forensic teams available to begin to look for the answers we so desperately need"

This begs the question, can anything be retrieved from the device?

"That phone could potentially be chalked full of data," says IT expert Alan Crowetz with InfoStream.

Crowetz says it may be difficult to recover due to several factors.

"If you're in salt water, it's almost like battery acid. It's very corrosive, very damaging even under regular water there's a chance, but under salt water it takes up another notch," says Crowetz.

He says a specialist would likely be brought in to examine the phone.

The boat will return to the U.S. in mid-May.

Scripps Only Content 2016

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