Coast Guard, fire department to suspend search for missing Florida firefighters at sundown

National News

Firefighters went missing during fishing trip

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) – A representative with the United States Coast Guard made the difficult announcement Thursday that the search for the missing firefighters will be suspended at sundown.

Multiple agencies and many volunteers have spent the week searching for missing Jacksonville firefighter Brian McCluney and Fairfax firefighter Justin Walker. The two were last seen taking off on a fishing trip out of Port Canaveral Friday, August 16.

“We have simply reached the point where our computer modeling and our ability to search in a given location are no longer allowing us to search with any reasonable degree or probability of success,” Coast Guard Captain Mark Vlaun said. “I have made the extremely difficult decision today that we will suspend the active search tonight at sundown.”

Holding back tears, Jacksonville Fire Chief Kurtis Wilson said the fire department will also be suspending their search at sundown.

When the Coast Guard suspends a search, Vlaun said they never stop operating.

“We will remain ready, relevant, and responsive,” he said.

Until sundown, Wilson said boats out of Savannah, Ga. and Charleston, S.C. will be covering about 4,000 sq. miles. Additionally, three aircraft units will be covering areas north and south of Charleston.

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