• Missing firefighters: 180 volunteers searching off Jacksonville's coast

    By: Brittney Donovan , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - More than 180 volunteers answered the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department's call for more boats in the search for missing firefighters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker; the two were last seen launching a boat from Port Canaveral Friday, Aug. 16.

    On Tuesday, more than 70 boats launched from Mayport — double the number of vessels from Monday's volunteer search out of Jacksonville.

    Patrick Sawyer's boat is equipped with sonar and navigation, used for mapping the ocean floor.

    He canceled all of his survey jobs to search for McCluney and Walker.

    "We're going to set up a pattern, and we're going to troll back and forth all day, couple pairs of binoculars, just sight around and look -- anything we can to help out," he said.

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    He was among more than 180 volunteers who came out to the Mayport boat ramp at daybreak.

    Some drove from out of state, packing enough supplies to be out on the water all day.

    "They're public servants. They risk their lives every day out here to help us we got to do our part to help them," Richard Meeks, of Waycross said.

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    Each captain was assigned a sector or grid.

    They searched from Brunswick to Daytona Beach.

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    Some boats were equipped with four engines, packing enough power to cover a lot of water.

    JFRD and the U.S. Coast Guard said they have no intentions of calling off the search.


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