UPDATE: Searchers Find Tackle Bag Owned by Missing Boater Brian McCluney off Coast of St. Augustine
By Space Coast Daily // August 20, 2019
boaters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker were last seen departing Port Canaveral for 8A Reef
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday morning that rescue crews have searched an estimated 24,000 miles of ocean and continue to look for the overdue Port Canaveral boaters with surface and air assets. (First Coast News video)
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA — Searchers found a tackle bag on Monday owned by missing boater Brian McCluney off the coast of St. Augustine, according to family members.
Authorities said that the search will intensify Tuesday in that area for McCluney and Justin Walker, who was last seen departing the 300 Christopher Columbus boat ramp Friday in a 24-foot center console.
Volunteers who wish to assist the search can report to the Mayport Boat Ramp in Jacksonville at 7 a.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday morning that rescue crews have searched an estimated 24,000 miles of ocean and continue to look for the overdue Port Canaveral boaters with surface and air assets.
McCluney and Walker were reported missing on Saturday, the Coast Guard says, after they were reported to be going to the 8A Reef, located off the Brevard County coast.
The search now includes Charlotte, South Carolina, south to Port Canaveral.
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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