On day five in the search for two missing firefighters, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and U.S. Coast Guard are still going strong, though the next 24 hours will be critical in the search.
“We going to need volunteers again tomorrow,” JFRD Interim Director/Fire Chief Keith Powers said. “We’re going again tomorrow, strong.”
Though JFRD and the Coast Guard remain hopeful for the return of JFRD firefighter Brian McCluney and Fairfax, Va. firefighter Justin Walker. U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun says the passing hours are becoming more crucial. “We are in a race against time,” he said.
McCluney and Walker have been missing since Friday and were last seen near Port Canaveral where they had gone on a fishing trip.
On Monday, a tackle bag belonging to McCluney was found 50 miles east of St. Augustine and was a huge turning point in the investigation. But Vlaun said as times goes by the need for fresh clues increases.
“[The tackle bag] allowed us to completely re-route our plans overnight,” he said. “Unfortunately, with each day as you go forward, that clue gets a little bit older.”
JFRD will move their search efforts north on Wednesday and said volunteer boats must be capable of running 60 miles offshore of Mayport and 30 to 60 miles out of Brunswick and Savannah, Ga.
Volunteers with boats wishing to head out tomorrow in the Brunswick-Savannah area must call Chief Barrow tonight at 904-813-5315. Volunteers without boats can call 904-763-9747.