‘Unfortunately our best wasn't good enough,' S.C. volunteers finish up search for firefighters

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Boater Chad Walton spent Thursday on land organizing South Carolina's volunteer search for Brian McCluney and Justin Walker.

The firefighters haven't been seen since last Friday when they launched for what was supposed to be a day-long fishing trip in Port Canaveral.

Walton said, "If I was in that position, I would want somebody looking for me."

His work started Monday with a call to the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters.

"(They) found out we had a small group of people out here that we can reach out to and kind of muster together some volunteers," he described.

Between Wednesday and Thursday, they had at least 50 volunteers out on the Atlantic Ocean.

Thursday, they had nine boats offshore searching on either side of the Gulf Stream.


"Anybody that's been around boating for a while knows it's been a pretty extensive search. Some might say more extensive than others," explained Walton.

Pictures posted to Facebook by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources showed the assets they deployed Wednesday – two boats and an aircraft.

Thursday, a spokesperson said they added three more boats and additional plane to scan from the air.

Even though official searches ended at sundown, Thursday, Walton said some efforts in North Carolina could continue.

"I believe they're going to continue to search into the weekend. There is some inclement weather that is predicted for the area, so I'm not sure how long they're going to be out," he said.

Boaters are reminded to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary they notice out on the water.

Walton said this isn't the way he wanted the search to end.

He described, "We went out and gave it our best and unfortunately our best wasn't good enough."

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