What we know about firefighters who are still missing after Florida fishing trip

Search continues for men last seen Friday

By Cheryl McCloud, Florida Today

The search for two missing boaters continued Tuesday, the fifth day after the two failed to return from a fishing trip off Florida's East Coast.

Here's what we know so far, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.

1. Firefighters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker departed from Port Canaveral at 11:30 a.m. Friday, heading out on a "short fishing trip" to the 8A reef.

2. The Coast Guard was notified Friday evening when the two hadn't returned. They were last seen in a 23-foot Robalo center console boat with a white hull and black T-top. 

3. The search for Brian McCluney, 38, a Jacksonville firefighter who grew up in Cocoa, and 33-year-old Justin Walker, a firefighter from Fairfax, Virginia who grew up in Vero Beach, began after the two were reported missing 6 p.m. Friday. 

4. By Tuesday night, the search for the two had covered more than 69,000 square miles from Port Canaveral to North Carolina.

5. The U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and Customs and Border Protection, have been involved in the search by both sea and air.

6. Volunteers and businesses have been actively involved in the search. The Jacksonville Fire Department has been heavily involved in the search, assisting with organizing a 36-boat rescue operation off the coast in a bid to find the pair.

7. The first sign of either of the boaters was found Monday afternoon, when McCluney's tackle bag was spotted 50 miles off the coast of Jacksonville.

8. Shortly after the men left Port Canaveral, a marine warning was issued due to the potential for severe winds and increased wave heights.

9. Money was being raised for the pair through Jacksonville Firefighter Charities by going to JFRD.com.  

10. Carla McCluney knows what her son has been through and just how capable he is and said there's no reason yet to give up on the lifetime fisherman and Navy veteran who was born in Health First Cape Canaveral Hospital and grew up in Cocoa. McCluney played football at Merritt Island High before graduating in 2000 and eventually joining the Navy.

11. Justin Walker, who graduated from Indian River Charter High School in 2004, had been back home in Vero Beach, visiting family for his sister's birthday two days before. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and was awarded a Purple Heart when he was struck by a piece of shrapnel overseas, said his mother Carla McCluney.

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