UPDATE: Rescue Crews Continue to Look for Lost Port Canaveral Boaters Tuesday Off Jacksonville
By Space Coast Daily // August 20, 2019
rescue crews have searched an estimated 46,800 miles of ocean
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA — U.S. Coast Guard crews, multiple partner agencies and good samaritans continue to search for the overdue Port Canaveral boaters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker, who were last seen departing the 300 Christopher Columbus boat ramp Friday in a 24-foot center console.
They were reported missing on Saturday after they were reported to be going to the 8A Reef, located off the Brevard County coast.
On Tuesday Morning, an HC-130 search plane and two CBP C-130 planes conducted a first light search and two 87-foot patrol boats and a fast response cutter searched through the night and remain on scene, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.
Searchers found a tackle bag on Monday owned by McCluney off the coast of St. Augustine, according to family members.
Authorities said that the search will intensify today in that area for McCluney and Walker.
The U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday morning that rescue crews have searched an estimated 46,800 miles of ocean and continue to look for the overdue Port Canaveral boaters with surface and air assets.
On Monday, crews were searching the Port Canaveral area up to the north of Jacksonville, and approximately 80 miles offshore, said U.S. Coast Guard officials.
The search is now focused off Jacksonville, north to Savannah, Georgia.
On Sunday, Stephanie McCluney, the wife of Brian McCluney, told First Coast News that her faith and “army of prayer warriors” is helping her stay strong as the search continues for her husband and his friend who never returned from fishing near Port Canaveral.
“I know that the ocean is large and my God I serve is larger. He can change the winds and the waters at His command. I have faith.”
On Sunday, crews with the U.S. Coast Guard found life jackets and a cooler as part of a search for two missing boaters.
The Coast Guard also reported that a civilian aircraft reported seeing a boat 50 miles east of Jacksonville that matched the ID of the missing boat and are investigating.
An earlier report of a debris field 50 miles east of St. Augustine was confirmed to not be associated with the missing boaters.
In an interview with First Coast News, Stephanie said that her husband wanted to give that boat “one big final hoorah for his dad” who had passed away a few weeks earlier.
At about 5 p.m. Saturday Stephanie said she sensed something was wrong when her husband did not return her text messages, and at 8 p.m., she called the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and U.S. Navy personnel have also been helping with the search. The Coast Guard also reports that civilians have also assisted.
BCSO is asking anyone out on the water who has any information that can assist in locating them to please call the United States Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Command Center at 904-714-7558.
A DONATION PAGE was established Sunday to contribute to search efforts.
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