SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - After almost a week of searching thousands of nautical miles, the search for two missing fishermen off the coast of Florida has been suspended.
U.S. Coast Guard Captain Mark Vlaun made the announcement Thursday, Aug. 22 saying that the Coast Guard’s search would end at sundown Thursday, but said that the maritime force will continue to remain vigilant.
Brian McCluney and Justin Walker, both firefighters, were last seen setting off on a boat Friday, Aug. 16 from Port Canaveral.
The Jacksonville Fire Department, which has also been searching for the two men, will also call off their search.
"The Coast Guard, when we suspend a search, we never stop operating. The Coast Guard remains, and we will remain ready, relevant, responsive, and we will have cutters underway tomorrow. We'll have aircraft underway, as we operate globally 24/7, 365 around the world,” U.S. Coast Guard Commander Mark Vlaun said.
Bryan County EMS also joined in the search. Chief Michael Dick says their department didn’t think twice about stepping in to help in the search efforts. He says it’s during times like these when surrounding departments need each other the most. They sent out one of their new rescue boats and four people to help look for the men.
Chief Dick says no matter the department, they are able to relate to the pain both families are going through.
“It’s humbling, because a lot of us do fish offshore. A lot of us go offshore for different reasons. A lot of us have families and we spend a lot of time in the water around here, so when you hear that somebody goes offshore and they go missing, it’s kind of humbling to be able to go out there and help look for them. By all means, you’re hoping that you’re going to help find somebody or find some type of clue to bring closure to the situation."
Officials believe the firefighters boat could be as far north as New England based on currents.
The organization 1-800-BoardUp is offering a $10,000 immediate cash reward for anyone who finds the two missing men. For more information on the organization, please click here.