CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – The search continues right now for two boaters between the Jacksonville coast and the Charleston coast. They were last seen leaving a boat ramp near Port Canaveral on Friday.
The United States Coast Guard says Brian McCluney and Justin Walker were reported to be leaving the Christopher Columbus boat ramp headed toward 8-A reef. Relatives of the family alerted the Coast Guard when the men didn’t return home as expected Friday night.
The latest update from the US Coast Guard’s Twitter says crews searched throughout the night on Monday for the two boaters. So far, crews have covered more than 46-thousand square miles with an estimated 108-hours of active searching.
McCluney and Walker are both firefighters from the Jacksonville area.
“This is still absolutely a rescue mission,” Chief Keith Powers with the Jacksonville Fire Department said. “We’re talking about a decorated combat veteran here, we’re talking about a firefighter/paramedic. These guys have the skills to survive for a long time and we’re going to continue this effort until we find Brian.”
On Monday, Chief Powers said crews found a tackle bag belonging to Brian McCluney 50-miles off the coast of Saint Augustine.
Officials say they’re now directing search efforts into the area where the bag was found.
Dozens are assisting in the search including the Coast Guard, Navy, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Wildlife Commission.
“We are going to find these guys and it’s just a matter. We finally started zeroing in a little bit today and we are going to find them,” Powers said. “So absolutely it’s a rescue mission.”
Authorities are asking if you have a boat capable of working 30 to 60 miles off the shore, they need your help with the search efforts Tuesday morning.
Count on News 2 to keep you updated with the latest information.