The massive hunt for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, launched last July when they set out on a fishing trip off the coast of Florida and never returned. Their boat supposedly capsized, and their families have been looking for them ever since.

Now, Stephanos' iPhone has been recovered, but Apple told the family on May 10 that data could not be restored. 

A Norwegian supply ship discovered the boys' boat off the coast of Bermuda back in March. The phone was still on the boat, and it was eventually given back to the Stephanos family. A team of engineers at Apple was asked to extract information from the device. However, the family was just informed that the phone could not be effectively restored.

Despite the recent news, Blu Stephanos is not giving up. The father of Austin Stephanos is going to push for further testing on the phone in hopes of learning what may have happened to the two boys.

The iPhone had been submerged in seawater for approximately eight months. Stephanos said in a statement that he truly believes Apple's team of engineers did everything they could to get the phone working again, and thanked them for their help. The iPhone is in several pieces, according to the Stephanos family attorney Michael Pike. Testing required the engineers to dissemble it in order to run diagnostics. 

The Stephanos and Cohen families were hoping to find information such as photos, emails, text messages or last-known GPS data from the iPhone. Although Apple was not able to successfully reboot the phone, it claims that there may be other experts in the field who could continue its work. The company has offered to hand off the iPhone to another tech expert if the families can agree on one to help. 

The capsized boat was initially seen two days after the boys disappeared around Daytona Beach, but drifted out to sea. It didn't resurface until March 18 when it was spotted off the coast of Bermuda. 

Initially, the discovery of the phone prompted the Cohen family to file a lawsuit against the Stephanos family and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They wanted the phone to be examined to determine where the boys were before they disappeared. The two families eventually settled on letting Apple handle the matter.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.