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The boat carrying Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, the two Florida teens who were lost at sea last summer, and an iPhone belonging to one of the boys appear to have been found, according to the parents of one of the boys.
The boat is en route by sea to Florida and is scheduled to arrive May 16, according the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Perry and Austin went missing July 24, 2015, after leaving the Jupiter Inlet in a 19-foot Seacraft boat. The U.S. Coast Guard first located the boat off the coast of New Smyrna Beach days later, but it was gone when they went back to tow it days later. (See video.)
Now Pamela Cohen and Nick Korniloff, Perry’s parents, are saying a boat headed to Norway spotted the lost vessel 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda. The boat still had some personal items, including an iPhone that belonged to Austin, according to Cohen and Korniloff.
The Norwegian research vessel Edda Fjord was on its way back to Norway on March 18 about 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda when it found the capsized boat, said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss.
“It was floating in the middle of a shipping lane,” Doss said.
The crew lowered a small boat to examine the craft. They identified it was the teens' boat by the serial number on the engine, Doss said.
The Norway crew moved the research craft to the boat. They used a crane to bring the craft on board. They reported their findings to the U.S. Coast Guard.
“There was a sticker on board from a marine supply store in Palm Beach County,” said Doss.
All of the items have been turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the couple said. FWC did not return calls for comment early Saturday.
The family is hoping that information on the iPhone or the boat will lead to more clues about where the boys were and what happened.
“This has been nine months now of pain and suffering. We’d like to have some sort of closure,” Korniloff said in a telephone interview with The Palm Beach Post Saturday morning.
Pamela Cohen said the family has received well-wishes from people worldwide.
“We just want to know the answers,” she said. “We just want to try to figure out what happened.”
The boat is expected to be brought back to South Florida by mid-May.
The Stephanos family did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.
The search effort for the boys — both 14 when they went missing — spanned more than a week and covered the coastline from Jupiter to South Carolina. The private search, funded by donations to the families, was called off more than a week later.
The families have since moved their focus to helping others, promoting boating safety and raising money for charity.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.