JACKSONVILLE (CBSMiami/AP) — It’s a race against time to find two missing firefighters who were last seen on Friday, as they headed out to sea for a day long fishing trip off the coast of Florida.
Jacksonville Interim Fire Chief Keith Powers said the agency was calling for as “many boats” as could be mustered Tuesday in the ongoing search for Brian McCluney and Justin Walker.
The firefighters departed last Friday on their outing aboard a 24-foot vessel from Port Canaveral.
The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies have been searching a wide expanse of ocean between Cape Canaveral and Jacksonville off Florida’s east coast.
“The race against time for us is this current and how far north it runs and how rapidly it does so. We really only can plan for the next round. So right now, I’ve got assets that just came back, we’re debriefing with those crews. We have crews that are going out there this afternoon, and we already have dedicated plans to run through tonight and even tomorrow morning,” said Capt. Mark Vlaun of the U.S. Coast Guard.
On Monday, crews found McCluney’s fishing tackle bag some 50 miles off St. Augustine in north Florida.
McCluney works for the Jacksonville department while Walker is a master technician with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Virginia, just outside the nation’s capital.
McCluney’s wife said Tuesday the discovery of her husband’s tackle bag has given her hope that the men will be found.
In a Facebook post, Stephanie McCluney added that she believed the bag was thrown overboard by the men to help those who are searching for them.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)