Active search for Florida firefighters who disappeared on fishing trip ends after one week as leads run dry
The active search for two firefighters who disappeared on a fishing trip has ended, but the Coast Guard says that doesn’t mean they will stop looking, according to WTLV.
Brian McCluney, a firefighter with Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, and Justin Walker, a firefighter from Fairfax, Virginia, were on a fishing trip near Port Canaveral in Florida when they disappeared Friday of last week.
The search continued through the week, with the search extending as far north as South Carolina.
“We’re in some critical times right now,” Interim Director and Fire Chief Keith Powers said Wednesday, according to WTLV. “Time has really become our enemy.”
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department made the announcement to end the active search Thursday evening.
“We had to make the extremely difficult decision to suspend the search at sundown,” U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun said, according to the station. “But when suspend a search we never stop operating.”
The Coast Guard says they have spoken to the wives of both men and told them that they will not stop looking, and if any new leads come up, they will reignite the search.
Three businesses in Florida tried to help the search effort by offering up a reward adding up to $30,000 for whoever finds the two men.
The three businesses — Palm Beach Valley Outdoor Bar & Grill in Ponte Vedra Beach, International Marine in Boynton Beach and 1-800-BOARDUP in Jacksonville Beach — each added $10,000 to the reward.