UPDATE: Search for Missing Fairfax Firefighter and Friend Continues

photoCoast Guard Photo

UPDATE 5 pm, 8/19 The search for a missing Fairfax County firefighter and a fishing companion is in its fourth day, as  U.S. Coast Guard crews are searching 50 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida, in an area where a gear bag was located. Multiple Coast Guard assets are on scene, the Coast Guard said late this afternoon.

Crews searched through the night with surface and air assets for the overdue boaters, who left Port Canaveral Friday afternoon. The search has covered 20,029 square miles so far, covering an area from PortCanaveral to Charleston S.C.. The gear bag is the first physical evidence to be located as of Monday afternoon.

These USCG images show today’s search patterns:

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The Coast Guard and partner agencies report no results as of Sunday night in the search for a Fairfax firefighter and a friend, who are missing on a fishing trip from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Justin Walker, a master technician for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, and Brian McCluney, a firefighter for the city of Jacksonville, Fla., were last seen about 11 a.m. Friday, when they departed on a fishing expedition.

Photo via Jacksonville Fire and Rescue

“McCluney and Walker are believed to have gone off shore about 30 miles and were expected to return around 6:00 pm,” the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said. “The boaters have not returned and we are asking anyone out on the water who has any information that can assist in locating them to please call the United States Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Command Center at 904-714-7558.”

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Security camera footage provided by Brevard Sheriff

The Coast Guard has deployed a search plane and several boats and is being assisted by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Navy.

On Sunday, crews investigated a reported debris field 50-miles east of St. Augustine but confirmed it wasn’t related to the missing boaters.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue has set up a donation page for anyone wanting to help in the search. “The donations will support the search efforts and ultimately the families of the firefighters.  Thank you so much for your support and prayers!” the department said.

 

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James R. Hood
James R. Hood is the editor and publisher of FairfaxNews.com. A former Associated Press editor and executive, he has more than 50 years of reporting experience.