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.”
Brian McCluney & Justin Walker went fishing Friday and haven’t been seen since. Thousands of square miles have been searched with hundreds of volunteers joining in. @KaileyTracy and I are in GA and SC w/ today’s search efforts. @FCN2go #BringThemHome pic.twitter.com/bvuP7qUOoi
— Robert Bradfield (@RobertBReports) August 22, 2019
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.
#UPDATE 17: @USCG crews will be searching through the night for the overdue @PortCanaveral boaters. The search has covered 90,306 sq miles with an est 249 hrs of active searches. Image shows today’s searches. pic.twitter.com/Ep5LCnRVwu
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) August 22, 2019
#UPDATE 16: @USCG and partner agency crews continue to search for the overdue @PortCanaveral boaters. A #USCG HC-130 search plane, 2 Coast Guard cutters and 3 @CBP aircraft are actively searching. Crews have searched 90,286 sq. miles since Friday. #HappeningNow pic.twitter.com/qRtCHurOPO
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) August 21, 2019
#UPDATE 14: @USCG aircrews from Air Station Clearwater and Elizabeth City conducted multiple search patterns yesterday alongside Navy P-8 planes and CBP C-130 aircrafts. #USCG and partner surface and air assets will continue to search throughout the day. #HappeningNow pic.twitter.com/4KZtIcxHcy
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) August 20, 2019