When two teenagers were lost at sea this summer while fishing out of Jupiter, Florida, the world mourned the loss for both families. The two boys, Austin Stephanos (pictured above right) and Perry Cohen (left), were avid fishermen who spent as much time as possible on the water.
But after a freak summer storm kicked up in the afternoon of July 24, the teens failed to return home, and their parents reported the boys missing. After a furious, week-long search, the only clue to their whereabouts was the Stephanos’ overturned 19-foot skiff that was recovered near Daytona Beach.
Despite the massive search and rescue efforts from the United States Coast Guard to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission, state and local agencies from Florida to the Carolinas, and countless volunteers, the boys were never found.Following the tragedy, Austin’s parents—Carly Black and William Blu Stephanos—have established the AustinBlu Foundation, a grassroots organization designed to promote, educate, and propel boater safety and the technology that can assist search and rescue efforts for every individual on the water.
Says Carly: “The Foundation will work tirelessly to increase the awareness and availability of tools and technology that can help prevent near-shore and offshore boating accidents and improve victims chances for survival and recovery.”
Alongside the family, ACR/ARTEX is offering to donate $10 for every EPIRB sold between the time of printing and the end of December to the foundation’s efforts for raising awareness and legislation. If you are interested in learning more about the AustinBlu Foundation, visit www.austinblufoundation.org and visit www.acrartex.com for more about their line of personal locator beacons and other marine safety equipment.