Volunteer boater recounts covering hundreds of miles in search for missing firefighters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Tuesday, Bruno May and a friend volunteered their time to search for missing firefighters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker.

May tells Action News Jax the ocean can be disorienting, even for experienced boaters like himself.

"I mean a dolphin fin would pop up, we'd think it's a hand," he said. "You start you start seeing things out there. Your mind starts playing tricks out there."

May tells Action News Jax he filled his 22-foot Sail Fish with fuel, and brought an extra 40 gallons to cover about 320 nautical miles.


"I used everything but three gallons left in my tank," he said.

May and his friend did find debris. Today the Coast Guard said they could not confirm if that debris was related at all.

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May says he's been stuck on the ocean before. In speaking from experience, he encourages others to volunteer in the search to bring them home.

"If I was lost out at sea, I would definitely wish, you know, anybody, strangers, anybody that has the boat, anybody that has the means to get out there, get out there and look for them," he said.


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May tells us his boat's propeller stopped working once while he was offshore, leaving him on the ocean for about 12 hours afterwards.

He says he was able to call for help using a personal GPS tracker, and encourages other boaters to have the same device.