Coast Guard Calling Off Search for Missing First Responders

Source: Cliff Self - 123RF

Port Canaveral, Florida – The US Coast Guard has announced it will suspend the search for two first responders who set out last Friday morning on a fishing trip and who haven’t been heard from since.

The boaters, firefighters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker, were last seen departing the 300 Christopher Columbus boat ramp Friday in a 24-foot center console heading toward “8A” reef.

Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral watchstanders were notified by a family member of the boaters not returning as expected Friday evening.

 Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Command Center watchstanders launched assets including a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Station Canaveral, an HC-130 Hercules search plane from Air Station Clearwater and the Coast Guard Cutter Ridley, an 87-foot Patrol Boat to conduct searches. 

McCluney’s wife told CNN affiliate WKMG that the boat has had mechanical problems in the past.

McCluney was a navy veteran who has sea training, survival training through the Navy, according to his wife.

Tuesday, authorities found a tackle bag belonging to Brian McLuny 50 miles east of St Augustine off the Florida coast.

The search covered thousands of miles and included citizen volunteers.