Firefighter friends Brian McCluney and Justin Walker went on a fishing trip off the Florida coast on Friday, August 16. They were supposed to return home Friday night, but when they never showed up, their families reported them missing.
According to The Orlando Sentinel, the two men were last seen “leaving a ramp near Jetty Park on Friday in a 24-foot center console reportedly headed to the 8A reef.”
On Monday (Aug 19), McCluney’s wife Stephanie Young McCluney wrote on Facebook that search crews had found her husband’s tackle bag 50 miles off the coast of At. Augustine, which is more than 100 miles north of Port Canaveral.
“I wholeheartedly believe this is a breadcrumb they threw overboard to say ‘ we are here, come find us,'” Stephanie McCluney said in her post. “I am standing firm on my face in prayer and that this be our Lord and savior guiding our path.”
Prayer warriors, I have confirmed this is Brian’s tackle bag. It was found off the coast of st Augustine, 50 miles out….
Friends and family are convinced that the two men, who fish regularly and know what to do in the event of an emergency, will be found alive.
McCluney’s brother, Kevin McCluney, told NBC News that both men are familiar with the area and boats. “If this had to happen to anybody, these are the right people to get through it,” he said.
Hundreds of volunteers have joined the search, which has reached as far north as North Carolina.
Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun said at a press briefing Tuesday (Aug 20) that a strong jet stream headed north is working against them.
“We’re in a race against time,” Vlaun said. “That is becoming even more acute as we move forward.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Command Center at 904-714-7558. The Jacksonville Association of Firefighters set up a donation page for the volunteer search efforts and families of McCluney and Walker.
According to Florida Today, the search has covered over 69,000 square miles and the search is now in its sixth day.
McCluney has two kids with wife Stephanie.
Walker is married to wife Natasha.
We pray these men are found safe and sound, and will be reunited with their families.