JFRD, local brewery team up for blood drive to honor firefighter who disappeared

Brian McCluney, a Jacksonville firefighter, disappeared at sea almost two years ago.

Two years after local firefighter Brian McCluney disappeared at sea, the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department and Veterans United Craft Brewery teamed up for a blood drive in his honor.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Fire And Rescue Department and Veterans United Craft Brewery partnered together Saturday for a blood drive to honor Brian McCluney, a Jacksonville firefighter who disappeared at sea almost two years ago.

Friends and family say they want his legacy to live on — and his legacy was saving lives.

McCluney and his friend, Justin Walker, went fishing off Port Canaveral in August of 2019, but never returned.

Air and boat crews searched more than 146,000 square miles from Florida to the Carolinas for six days but the search was unsuccessful.

A spokesperson for JFRD said Saturday that he’s glad that there can be a blood drive in honor of a man who saved lives daily as a first responder.

“His memory lives on with us,” said Eric Prosswimmer. “Blood saves lives. Donating blood saves lives. It’s awesome we can do this in honor of Brian.”

Stephanie McCluney says she’s happy to have events like this that help Brian’s legacy can live on forever.

“The fact that his name can be remembered in the community and for us his family that’s huge — the legacy, the honor,” Stephanie McCluney said.

Family told News4Jax they were happy with the turnout Saturday and are looking forward to others receiving the life-saving blood.

About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.