ONE YEAR LATER: Austin & Perry's boat found off Bermuda coast

April 23, 2016 - the families of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen confirmed for the first time that the boat belonging to the missing teens had been found.

It’s been one year since renewed hope was given to many that perhaps the world would soon know exactly what happened the fateful day Tequesta teens Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen vanished.

April 23, 2016 - the families of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen confirmed for the first time that the boat belonging to the missing teens had been found.

Nearly one year prior, on Friday, July 24, 2015 - Stephanos and Cohen were captured on surveillance camera, and reportedly seen by eye witnesses, leaving the Jupiter Inlet on a 19 foot Seacraft boat, headed out into the Atlantic Ocean, as a storm approached in the distance.

RELATED STORY: New details surface in Austin and Perry FWC Report

A massive search ensued by land and sea with scores of volunteers and Coast Guard crews searching more than 25,000 miles of ocean and beaches for any possible clue. Days after their disappearance, the teens’ boat was found for the first time 67-nautical miles off the coast of Daytona Beach, Florida. Crews found no sign of Austin nor Perry.

Currents of the ocean pushed the boat further away before crews could tow the boat back to shore. Left to the mercy of the sea, days turned into months, until March 18, 2016.

That is when the crew of the Edda Fjord, a Norwegian supply ship, discovered the capsized boat about 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda.

Days after news broke about the boat being found in April 2016, CBS12’s Greg Angel traveled to Haugesund, Norway to speak exclusively with the Captain Havard Melvaer of the Edda Fjord.

“We only knew that we were supposed to head to Norway,” Captain Melvaer said in April 2016. “We didn’t even have a set date.”

Captain Melvaer recalled the chance encounter finding the boat in the first place, saying it was all because of a chance change in course.

WATCH | CBS12 IN NORWAY: Change in course led to discovery of Austin and Perry’s boat

The hull of the boat was fairly intact, but Captain Melvaer said what was quite unusual was the motor was also still intact. That’s when he says he knew that was something more to this boat.

“There was a motor on it and it was also fairly nice complete boat, apparently solid, it wasn’t something you just leave on the beach and accidentally wash away,” Captain Melvaer said.

Understanding the movement of the ocean currents, Captain Melvaer did a Google search for information about missing boaters from Florida or the Bahamas. In an instant he found photos and news stories about Austin and Perry, and that missing boat that looked much like the one now sitting on the deck of the Edda Fjord. That’s when he knew exactly what he found.

WATCH | CBS12 IN NORWAY: Fate led to discovery of Austin and Perry’s boat

On the boat itself, the crew found several items including Austin’s iPhone, which the families of Austin and Perry previously expressed hope that Apple could retrieve photographs, text messages or other information that may provide answers about what happened to the teen friends.

By finding the phone, and paying to have it returned to Florida, Captain Melvaer, the crew of the Edda Fjord, and its parent company, Edda Accommodations, hoped that it would bring closure to Austin and Perry’s families.

“I can identify with both parents and the children that was lost,” Captain Melvaer said. “We as Norwegians, we’ve grown up on boats, we have been on the water most of our lives.”

The families of Austin and Perry too seemed hopeful that this discovery will give them the answers that will allow them to find peace and closure.

Austin’s iPhone, which had been the source of renewed hope for many, also became the focus of a mounting legal battle. In May 2016, Apple told the court that after exhaustive efforts they could not retrieve any information from the phone.

“As you know, the first step in gathering information that might be on the phone is to have successful powering on of the phone,” said Michael Pike, attorney for Blu Stephanos, father of Austin Stephanos, in May 2016. “Unfortunately, Aple and its team of engineers, despite around the clock testing of the phone, have been unable to turn it on due to damage it sustained while on the boat and submerged in the ocean.”

That analysis alone has not ended the overall legal fight into what to do with the phone. A judge has yet to release the phone back to the custody of Austin’s family.

RELATED STORY: Attorney: No information can be retrieved from missing teens iPhone

In the time since Austin and Perry disappeared, their families, and the community, have found ways to honor their memory.

A memorial plaque was placed on the walkway at the Jupiter Inlet where the teens were last seen heading into the Atlantic.

The Cohen family established the Perry J. Cohen Foundation, devoted to boater safety, the arts, marine and wildlife preservation, and teenage entrepreneurship.

The Stephanos family established the AustinBlu Foundation, focused on promoting and improving boater safety.

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