At least 15 private boaters and around 50 firefighters are assisting the Coast Guard in the search for two firefighters who vanished after going on a fishing trip Friday. The Coast Guard says Brian McCluney and Justin Walker were last seen Friday morning when they left Port Canaveral on Florida's east coast, heading for the 8A Reef fishing spot, CNN reports. McCluney is a firefighter with Jacksonville Fire and Rescue and Walker is with Fire and Rescue in Fairfax County, Va. They were in a 24-foot Robalo center console boat. Family members contacted the Coast Guard around 6pm Friday after McCluney and Walker failed to return.
The Coast Guard tweeted late Sunday that the search had covered more than 20,000 square miles from Florida to the Carolinas. The Coast Guard said it had investigated a civilian aircraft's report of seeing the boat 50 miles east of Jacksonville, but found only debris unrelated to the two men. McCluney's colleagues have been searching beaches in the area for clues that may have washed up, USA Today reports. His wife, Stephanie McCluney, thanked everybody involved in the search Sunday and urged people to remain positive. "I have an army that is just holding me and bathing me in prayer," she said. "We’re holding prayer vigils, we’re up all night." (Read more Coast Guard stories.)