South Florida has been grief-stricken over the last week, as two of its own teenage boys, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, went missing after what everybody thought was a routine boat outing. The two fourteen year olds, who are well-versed in boating and were raised on the water, headed out on a nineteen-foot boat last Friday, filled up their tank with gas, and headed out into the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, Austin and Perry have still not returned home.
For those following the news closely (#FindAustinAndPerry across all social media platforms), you know that the boat has been discovered and was capsized off the east coast of Florida. You also know that a Yeti cooler, engine cover, and life jackets have still not yet been retrieved, leaving a glimmer of hope for the boys’ loved ones.
Additionally, you might have heard that some renowned athletes and celebrities have lent their support to the families during the official search, which was suspended by the U.S. Coast Guard last evening. Football great Joe Namath, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, and country music’s own, Alan Jackson, are among the stars who have reached out to the families and encouraged their fans and followers to send an extra prayer up for the safe return of Austin and Perry.
From a South Florida native with friends who are deeply affected by the boys’ disappearances, thank you to everybody who has shown support for the Stephanos and Cohen families. To Mr. Alan Jackson (as well as Joe Namath and Jeff Gordon), thank you for using your celebrity for such a great cause and for bringing awareness to this situation that will require the community to truly band together to continue the search for these teens.
It is especially important to note that Alan Jackson has a new album out and stepped away from being business-minded and promoting his project to show his love and concern for this ongoing mission. Jackson has paved the way musically for many artists throughout his career, and may he likewise pave the ways of humanity for those following in his footsteps.
NashvilleGab sends it thoughts and prayers to Austin, Perry, and their families and friends, and we, too, will leave our lights on in hopes that the two teenagers will find the way home.