• Dozens of firefighters help search for two men who went missing while fishing

    By: Brittney Verner , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Coast Guard said Sunday they will be searching throughout the night for the two boaters who never returned from their fishing trip Friday off the Port of Canaveral.

    So far the search has extended as far north as Charleston, South Carolina. On Sunday, volunteers also walked the beach looking for anything that could have been left behind from the firefighters.

    More than 50 firefighters volunteered Sunday to help Coast Guard officials search and rescue those men. They departed from the Vilano boat ramp and spent most of the day searching from St. Augustine to Cape Canaveral.

    At sunrise on Sunday, fire and rescue crews in Jacksonville sent out about 16 boats and three or more airplanes to help find Brian McCluney and Justin Walker.

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    McCluney is a firefighter at fire station 31 in Jacksonville. Director and Fire Chief Keith Powers said learning about the disappearance hit home for many in their brotherhood, that's why they stepped in and asked the Coast Guard how they could help in the search.

    "Our crews have been out looking, trying to find their brother. Firemen were in rescue mode. That's our thing. Yesterday there wasn't a lot for us to do. Saturday night the Coast Guard gave us some coordinates that they said they could really use some help with and we got here at 7 o'clock this morning," Powers said.  

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    More than 50 firefighters in Jacksonville and surrounding areas dedicated their Sunday looking for clues leading to their disappearance.

    The Coast Guard said the two men were heading a reef on Friday, which is about five miles from Cape Canaveral but they never returned. The Coast Guard has searched nearly 5,000 square miles. McCluney was scheduled to work Sunday and without him around many colleagues, like Kyle Smith, are finding it difficult to cope with his disappearance.

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    "Its frustrating because, in our field, we go and we're problem solvers. Somebody calls in their worst time, they call 9-1-1 and we go and help them. Our brother is out there and he needs us," Smith said

    But they're remaining optimistic that he will be found alive.

    "If there's anybody that can survive this, he's the guy that can do it," Powers said.

    The Coast Guard have not found anything but they will continue their search.


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