It was a story that gripped the nation: On July 24, 2015 Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, went missing off Florida’s Jupiter Inlet. Despite one of the largest maritime searches in recent history, the boys were never found.
Perry Cohen (left) and Austin Stephanos (right) were lost at sea on July 24, 2015.
Since losing her son, Stephanos’ mother, Carly Black (shown, near right with a friend) has found purpose by helping create the AustinBlu Foundation, a nonprofit organization aimed at keeping kids safe on the water.
Flanked by friends and family, Black was positioned front and center at the ACR Electronics display at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show in November where she spoke with boaters about a bill Austin Blu’s working on with Florida legislators to offer boat-registration discounts to those who show proof that they carry registered EPIRBs and/or (depending on vessel size) PLBs aboard.
“We’re working with ACR and it’s been amazing—they’re donating $10 from every beacon sold to our foundation,” says Black. “We’d also love to partner with schools to provide further education. From elementary to high schools, we’d like to give a presentation on safety. The tragedy has been horrifying but the outpouring of love and support from the marine industry has been amazing. Boating was Austin’s passion; we’re doing this to honor his passion.”
For more information on the AustinBlu Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.austinblufoundation.org