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Coast Guard suspends active search for missing firefighters

Posted: 12:26 PM, Aug 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-22 12:46:39-04
Coast Guard searching for missing firefighters off Florida coast

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The U.S. Coast Guard announced on Thursday that, at sundown, they would be suspending the active search for two firefighters who never returned home after a boating trip.

Officials say Brian McCluney and Justin Walker were last seen leaving a Port Canaveral boat ramp on Friday morning in a 24-foot center console.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the two men were heading toward 8A Reef, a popular fishing spot.

On Monday, crews found a tackle bag belonging to one of the men about 50 miles off the coast of St. Augustine. That bag is the only piece of debris located that belongs to the men during the search.

During a press conference on Thursday, Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun said the search was a "race against time."

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The Coast Guard has been using several boats and planes to search for the men, along with other agencies and good Samaritans who are using their own assets to help out.

According to the International Association of Fire Fighters, both of the men are members of the association. Walker is a master technician with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue in Virginia, and McCluney is from the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters.