Dozens gather for prayer, awareness vigil to honor 2 missing 14- - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Dozens gather for prayer, awareness vigil to honor 2 missing 14-year-old boaters

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen have been lost at sea since July 24th, but that hasn't stopped one local group from spreading awareness on the beach.


As the sun started to go down Tuesday night, a group of people gathered to make sure it didn't darken their hope to find the missing boys.

"To keep it in people's minds, I think a lot of people are starting to lose focus, and lose thought about the boys, and they are actually still out there along with all the items," Philip Jackson said.

The Surf Dreams Foundation's Philip Jackson says an updated list of the items still at sea, that might spark more searches from the coast guard if found, include two life jackets, an engine cover, a white yetti cooler, fishing rods, and boots. Jackson believes it's very likely the items could wash up here.

"Every day the ocean changes, we went from having a south current this week, to a north current, and now's it's back south again, with the, you know it's really windy right now, so you can look one place, and an hour later something could pop up there, so that's why you have to look everyday," Jackson explained.

As the group handed out the updated flyers, several children drew a heart in the sand, with the words find Austin and Perry, and outlined the heart with sea shells.

"The heart is love, and the kids in surf dreams foundation, I wanted them to be, feel a part of the whole vigil," Linda Haley said.

At the end of the vigil, the group including children as young as 4, joined hands and prayed for the boys return. Many feel, Although this is a devastating situation, what's done from here can help the next generation learn how to come together as community.

"This is a horrible thing that happens, but it's a part of somebody's life, by them seeing other people care, they learn how to care," Haley said.

Volunteer Coordinator for the foundation, Linda Haley, saysThe father of Austin Stephanos reached out to the group, thanking them for taking the search efforts here to the grand strand and group members say they will continue to raise awareness until the boys are found.

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