JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax has the latest on the search for the missing firefighters from Jacksonville, Georgia and South Carolina, as well as the latest developments from officials -- watch on Action News Jax on CBS47
Thursday marked a disheartening day for friends, family, co-workers and loved ones of firefighters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker.
The U.S. Coast Guard, FBI, Navy, Air Force, Customs and Border Protection, as well as local and out-of-state fire departments, covered at least 105,000 square miles in the search for Brian McCluney and Justin Walker.
Flanked by fire department leaders and union presidents, Coast Guard Cmdr. Mark Vlaun addressed the public.
He stated the computer models are no longer promising, and the search would end Thursday night.
An emotional Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers echoed Vlaun's message.
"That is an extremely tough decision because we've got a brother out there that we just haven't been able to find," said Powers.
He spoke to the difficulty loved ones are facing right now.
"I just left the family right before we came out there and they're heartbroken," he said. "And I can't say that I feel any different right now."
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- Volunteers in Georgia join efforts to find firefighters lost at sea as search expands
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- Pilot searching for firefighters lost at sea says this is some of the hardest flying he's done
- Local doctors discuss what it takes to survive at sea as search continues for missing firefighters
- "People have lasted longer than 4 days at sea" Family, friends, neighbors don't give up on search
- Search for missing firefighters Brian McCluney, Justin Walker suspended at sunset
- Florida pilot won't give up looking for missing firefighters even after Coast Guard suspends search
- 'Unfortunately our best wasn't good enough,' S.C. volunteers finish up search for firefighters
- Family of missing firefighter raising donations to continue searches
The Coast Guard tells Action News Jax it has been meeting with the families along the way, offering them transparency as they face the unknown.
"Today, we actually brought in the search-and-rescue planners," said Vlaun. "The team that put the rescue together and operated out of the water. They walked them through step by step everything we knew and every action we took from there on in."
In speaking to neighbors of McCluney who know of his family, a woman who lives nearby named Sweta Jha said the community is choosing to hold out hope.
She tells Action News Jax their neighborhood is banding together, choosing to remain positive despite the uncertainty.
"Everyone is praying, and everyone is so positive that these guys will be back," she said.
Cox Media Group