3 Florida businesses offer $30,000 to whoever finds missing boaters
Brian McCluney, Justin Walker last seen Friday near Port Canaveral
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Three Florida businesses are offering $30,000 to whoever finds two missing firefighters lost at sea since Friday when they departed Port Canaveral on a fishing trip, according to First Coast News.
According to the report, Palm Beach Valley Outdoor Bar & Grill in Ponte Vedra Beach, International Marine in Boynton Beach and 1-800-BOARDUP in Jacksonville Beach are each offering $10,000 for the safe return of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department firefighter Brian McCluney and Fairfax, Va. firefighter Justin Walker.
"If it just gets one person to sign up and go out and find them, then it's worth every penny," Toni Kara, owner of Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill, told First Coast News. "They need to come home."
A massive search for the missing boaters has been underway since Friday night when they failed to return from their trip.
Since then, the only sign of the boaters was a tackle bag found Monday about 50 miles off the coast of St. Augustine.
A life vest was found Wednesday, but it was not connected to the missing boaters, officials said.
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers said crews are racing against the clock, especially considering that no new clues have been found.
"We're in some critical times right now. As we said at noon (Wednesday), time has really become our enemy and we're really having to -- to move forward with this, something's gotta happen," Powers said.
Beginning Thursday, the search efforts moved north, concentrating on an area off the coasts of South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia.
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"We have plans already for our first flight search tomorrow morning at which time, as we've been doing, we'll meet together with all the partners in the search to determine a way ahead and whether or not we have an opportunity to be successful," Vlaun said.
The Coast Guard shared a map of the latest search efforts.
#UPDATE 17: @USCG crews will be searching through the night for the overdue @PortCanaveral boaters. The search has covered 90,306 sq miles with an est 249 hrs of active searches. Image shows today’s searches. pic.twitter.com/Ep5LCnRVwu— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) August 22, 2019
Officials echoed their call for volunteers and online donations to aid in the search. Anyone with information about the boaters or who can help in the search is asked to call the Coast Guard at 904-714-7565.
As the search continues, Vlaun said they're looking for anything to bring hope.
"We're all struggling. We're all hoping to find something that would give us, that would spark an ability to contract a search," he said.
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