JFRD, local brewery team up for blood drive to honor firefighter who disappeared
Jacksonville Fire And Rescue Department and Veterans United Craft Brewery partnered together Saturday for a blood drive to honor firefighter Brian McCluney, a Jacksonville firefighter who disappeared at sea almost two years ago.
After year, memorial to be held for firefighters who vanished at sea
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. On Friday, loved ones will gather to remember two firefighters who went on a fishing trip one year ago and didnt return. Engineer Brian McCluney with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and Virginia firefighter Justin Walker launched from Cape Canaveral. She wants the memorial service to be a celebration of his life. McCluneys wife is planning a paddle out memorial for her husband at the same dock he Walker launched from. The memorial will begin at 5 p.m. Friday at Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral.
‘Fishin’ for the Boys’ tournament to honor Jacksonville firefighter Brian McCluney
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Association of Firefighters is hosting the 'Fishin' for the Boys' fishing tournament to support the family of Jacksonville firefighter, Brian McCluney. McCluney and his friend, Justin Walker, went fishing off Port Canaveral in August, but never returned after sundown. For six days, air and boat crews searched more than 146,000 square miles from Florida to the Carolinas. Cox is organizing the fishing tournament to help support McCluney's wife and two young kids. The fishing tournament is Jan. 18 - Feb. 16.
Proceeds from this year’s ‘Guns and Hoses’ game to help support family of firefighter lost at sea
The Gonzalez family came out to support the Hoses, but there was also a lot of support for the Guns. “We've been waiting to play this game for a year,” said Daniel Perrotti, the captain of the “Guns” team. Many of the proceeds will go to help support the family of Brian McCluney, one of two firefighters lost at sea over the summer. "We love doing events like this,” said Stephen Myers, the captain of the “Hoses” team. And it's a lot of fun.”He added, "Most people, once they see a live hockey game, get hooked on this game.
Baymeadows Road Red Lobster donating portion of proceeds to missing firefighters’ families
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Red Lobster location in Jacksonville will be donating 15% of all sales from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to the families of two missing firefighters. The community was invited to the restaurant’s location at 8720 Baymeadows Road in Jacksonville during that time to dine in, get takeout or just stop by to donate. The general manager said the event aims to make this holiday season a little easier for the families of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department engineer Brian McCluney and Justin Walker, a firefighter from Virginia. The two men went fishing out of Port Canaveral on Aug. 16 and never returned. A search of more than 100,000 square miles of ocean came up empty.
Family, community honor life of missing Jacksonville firefighter
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Brian McCluney was a humble servant who was reserved about his faith but loud in his day-to-day contact with everyone he met, his pastor said Friday. McCluney's family held a celebration of life Friday morning for the 38-year-old Jacksonville firefighter who disappeared while out at sea 10 weeks ago. WATCH: Video from JFRD gives look inside celebration of life |GALLERY: Family photos of Brian McCluney, Justin WalkerMcCluney's brother described him as a humble and brave man who loved God and his family. "Every single thing on that boat should be labeled because we've gotten pictures of a life vest and there are a million orange life vests. Walker's family drove from Virginia to take part in McCluney's celebration of life service.
Wife says faith gets her through disappearance of firefighter husband
Stephanie McCluney, wife of Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department engineer Brian McCluney, sat down to talk about her husband, the massive search for him, and her faith. I honestly don't know if I would be able to process and handle it any other way. I don't know how to. I don't know the alternative because it would be too depressing. "He joined the military and I went to college and did dumb college things and, finally, I was, like, 'I don't know what I'm doing.'
Families hosting a beach walk for missing firefighters
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Three weeks since Jacksonville Fire and Rescue firefighter Brian McCluney and Virginia Firefighter Justin Walker were reported missing during a fishing trip out of Port Canaveral, their families are organizing a beach walk to search for debris. The two were first reported missing Aug. 16. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, the families of the firefighters are continuing to look for answers. A flyer was posted to Facebook calling on volunteers to walk the shoreline in search of any items from McLuney's 24-foot center console fishing boat. Volunteers who find any of the items listed are asked to send a picture of the item to 904-599-6062.
Missing firefighters' loved ones continue push for search teams
Surveillance photo as Brian McCluney and Justin Walker launched their 24-foot fishing boat and headed off the coast of Port Canaveral. Now, loved ones are making a renewed push for people to stay on the lookout. UNCUT: Watch entire McCluney family news conference |GALLERY: Family photos of Brian McCluney, Justin WalkerThe wives of the firefighters continue to post on Facebook, as well. "I think those guys were well-equipped to survive if the boat didn't sink," Anderson said. On Monday, the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters closed one account and opened two different accounts to help out the families of McCluney and Walker.
Fundraisers held to aid private searches for missing firemen
Brian McCluney, a Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department engineer, and Justin Walker, a Virginia firefighter, have not been found. On Saturday, a fundraiser took place to help collect money for private searches that will continue until the two firemen are found. I can't explain what's going on, but it's just a really special thing." Berndt Ends BBQ is sponsoring a benefit from Thursday through Sunday and naming McCluney's favorite plate, "The McCluney Special." All Proceeds from each purchase of "The McCluney Special" will go to the families.
Wife, family of missing firefighter Brian McCluney thank searchers
"I will never have the words to say thank you to the thousands of people who searched for my son and the millions of prayers," Brian's mother, Carla McCluney, said. UNCUT: Watch entire McCluney family news conferenceMcCluney, a Jacksonville Fire and Rescue engineer, went out fishing with Justin Walker, a Fairfax, Virginia, firefighter, Aug. 16, from a Port Canaveral boat dock. Stephanie and Carla McCluney said they have felt embraced by the JFRD family. GALLERY: Family photos of Brian McCluney and Justin WalkerCarla McCluney lost her husband six weeks ago and is now dealing with the fact that her son may never be found. Carla McCluney said Brian's two children, Brynn and Conner, haven't asked too many questions about their father, but she knows they will.
Missing firefighters' friends react as search scales back
After six days of looking for them, Coast Guard suspended its active search Thursday evening. The two met at fire school in Indian River County, Miller said. According to the Coast Guard, the search covered 146,000 square miles, an area the size of the state of Montana. He said Coast Guard resources are still in the water and the air on patrol, ready to react if anything develops. RELATED: Coast Guard suspends search for missing firefighters | Missing firefighter is also a talented dancer | Financial reward offered for return of firefighters lost at seaRon Kuley, president of the Fairfax County Professional Firefighters, spent the week working alongside his local counterparts, like Jacksonville Association of Firefighters President Randy Wyse.
Firefighters at Brian McCluney's fire house cope with search, but no rescue
Twenty-four hours after the U.S. Coast Guard made the difficult decision to suspend the active search for the two firefighters, emotions were raw at Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Station 31, where firefighters and paramedics worked alongside McCluney. JFRD brought in a Central Florida counselor to assist McCluney's fellow firefighters. "We have people here at this station who are having a really hard time with this," Chief Patrick Gouin said. Gouin, who was one of McCluney's supervisors, said support from the community has helped. GALLERY: Family photos of Brian McCluney and Justin WalkerGouin said he and McCluney shared a passion for fishing.
Missing Virginia firefighter is also talented dancer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For almost a week we've known of Justin Walker as a Fairfax, Virginia, firefighter who went out fishing last Friday with his friend and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department paramedic Brian McCluney. For the last six days, authorities and volunteers have scoured coastal waters from Central Florida to North Carolina looking for them. News4Jax has learned that Walker was also a professional contemporary dancer with the Demetrius Klein Dance Company and obtained video of one of his performances in 2016. Father won't you carry meFor the oceans wideFather won't you carry meFor my boat is so small. "Its a way to also connect.McCluneys wife, Stephanie, previously danced for the same company in West Palm Beach.
As active search ends, grief expert says 'try to stay present in the moment'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Emotions are high now that the Coast Guard has suspended the active search for two firefighters lost at sea. There is so much happening in the way of the search and so much emotion around it that numbness would be a really appropriate and normal reaction," Weinstein said. With so many unanswered questions, Weinstein said it's best to stay present. "When it comes to, literally, how to cope, try the best that you can to be in the present moment," she said. "Whether its your faith, whether its friends or other family members, get those kinds of support wherever you can find them, and try to stay present in the moment."
What we know & don't know: Firefighters missing at sea
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. "When you're talking about search suspension, it is the hardest decision any Coast Guard leader makes," he said. He said Coast Guard boats and aircraft would continue looking for clues and scanning the ocean for signs of the firefighters and McCluney's boat, a 24-foot center console. Doctor says firefighters' health a concernIt's unclear if the firefighters are still with McCluney's boat, a 24-foot center console, which would be the best-case scenario. Fate of firefighters' boat a question markAuthorities do not know what happened to the firefighters' boat.
After 'extremely difficult' decision, active search for missing firefighters ends at sundown
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Six days after two firefighters went to sea for a day of fishing and never returned, the U.S. Coast Guard decided Thursday would be the last of active searching. More than 146,368 square miles, an area about the size of Montana, were searched over 281 hours, the Coast Guard said. Mark Vlaun called the decision "extremely difficult" and said Coast Guard assets will continue to work off the coast. The search team outlined everything the Coast Guard and others had done to find their loved ones and answered any questions they had. "When you're talking about search suspension, it is the hardest decision any Coast Guard leader makes, unquestionably," Vlaun said.
Active search for missing fishermen to end at sundown today
The U.S. Coast Guard, Navy and Customers and Border Protection aircraft will continue their massive search operation for the rest of the day. The focal point of Thursday's search was nearly 400 miles north of where the two men put out to sea. The Coast Guard said after getting first reports Thursday morning, they will have a conversation about what the future of the rescue effort will look like. Volunteers along with JFRD and the Coast Guard say this search is a personal one. Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) August 22, 2019Anyone with information about the boaters or who can help in the search is asked to call the Coast Guard at 904-714-7565.
Search for missing boaters extends into South Carolina
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department is calling for volunteers to leave from Savannah and Charleston Thursday morning. "Were in some critical times right now," Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers said early Wednesday evening. Coast Guard Capt. The Coast Guard said it will have a first light search Thursday morning. Anyone with information about the boaters or who can help in the search is asked to call the Coast Guard at 904-714-7565.
Search for missing boaters extends into South Carolina
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department is calling for volunteers to leave from Savannah and Charleston Thursday morning. "We're in some critical times right now," Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers said early Wednesday evening. Coast Guard Capt. The Coast Guard said it will have a first light search Thursday morning. Anyone with information about the boaters or who can help in the search is asked to call the Coast Guard at 904-714-7565.
'Time has really become our enemy' as search for missing boaters moves north
Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun said the search area has become "astronomically large," extending north as far as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and up to 120 miles offshore. The Coast Guard will continue to search overnight. The Coast Guard said it will have a first light search Thursday morning. Anyone with information about the boaters or who can help in the search is asked to call the Coast Guard at 904-714-7565.
Firefighters aren't giving up hope in search for their brothers
On Wednesday, News4Jax spent the day on a boat off the coast of Brunswick with volunteers out of Glynn County who said the search is personal for them, as many of them are firefighters and paramedics. You never go out with somebody," said Glynn County firefighter Edward Anderson. "We got two out here right now that we want to get and we want to bring them home." Anderson and other firefighters who volunteered to search said they're not giving up hope for their brothers -- Brian McCluney, who works for the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, and Justin Walker, a firefighter from Fairfax, Virginia. "So general courtesy when a boater is in distress, you stop and help them, and that goes beyond the water."
Federal agents use counter-narcotics planes to search for missing boaters
CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. - Besides hundreds of volunteers and the Coast Guard, search crews with U.S. Customs and Border Protection are also involved in the search for missing firefighters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker. The team of federal pilots and tactical flight officers worked tirelessly from takeoff at Cecil Field to touchdown. CBP agents from the Jacksonville offices typically fly missions in Central and South America, stopping drug smugglers. Four Jacksonville firefighters volunteered their time as spotters, manning windows on the P-3 Orion aircraft. The directions and search areas come straight from the Coast Guard, which is coordinating the search mission, spanning from Cape Canaveral to Cape Hatteras.
Wife of missing Jacksonville firefighter leans on her faith to stay strong
Stephanie McCluney and Nastsha Walker both praise their families, friends and volunteers for their support. And since day one, Stephanie McCluney has been leaning on her faith. UNCUT: Wife of missing Jacksonville firefighter speaksREAD: Search for missing firemen hits close to home |Missing firefighter's wife on search: 'It's not manpower, it's God power' |Missing boater's wife posts 'miracles happen' hours before tackle bag foundStephanie McCluney married her high school sweetheart. "She has a strong, strong relationship with her Heavenly Father and its getting her through these tough days and I cant imagine," said Jason Cullum, the lead pastor at Christ's Church in Mandarin. "That is the faith we are seeing right now in a wife whose husband is missing at sea right now.
Ashley Spicer: Search for firefighters lost at sea hits close to home
The search for two firefighters lost at sea has gripped our News4Jax audience since the pair failed to return Friday night from a fishing trip out of Port Canaveral. When I saw Stephanie walk in, my heart ached for her. Then Sunday rolled around, and we covered a prayer walk as the worries grew. After she made an appearance at the command center in Mayport, she came to that private prayer vigil put on by the Fire Wives group, where we met up. As we have every day since Brian and Justin went missing, we are praying and hoping for an answer today.
Wife joins aerial search for firefighters lost at sea
WKMG-TV imageJACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For the fourth straight day, authorities fanned out in search of two firefighters lost at sea. Though she clings to that hope, Walker said shes going to do everything in her power to find the pair. Thats what compelled her to climb on board a volunteers Cessna plane and join the search. The two boaters have been lost at sea since Friday. So far, the search has only turned up a tackle bag belonging to McCluney in the waters off St. Augustine.
Massive Search Underway for Missing Firefighters Who Disappeared on Boating Trip
A massive search is underway for two firefighters who vanished during a Florida boating trip. McCluneys fishing bag was found 50 miles from St. Augustine Monday, but there was no sign of the boat they left in, authorities said. On Tuesday, helicopters were added to the search, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Weve finally started zeroing a little bit today, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers said in an update on Monday. I still could see that my messages hadnt even been delivered yet, Stephanie told the station.
Search ramps up for firefighters missing off Florida coast
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida fire official says his department is ramping up its search for two firefighters who've been missing since going boating in the Atlantic Ocean last week. The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies have been searching a wide area of ocean between Cape Canaveral and Jacksonville. The Coast Guard said when they arrived to the search area, the debris found was not related to the boaters. Following the discovery of McCluney's tackle bag by a Good Samaritan, the Coast Guard said it will be focusing on the area where that bag was found. Anyone with information is asked to contact the United States Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Command Center at 904-714-7558.
What it's like for Jacksonville firefighters to search for one of their own
MAYPORT, Fla. - News4Jax went out on a boat with Jacksonville firefighters as they searched for their fellow firefighter and his friend, both of whom are lost at sea. The boat that News4Jax went on Tuesday afternoon with JFRD firefighters left from the Mayport boat ramp and went about 6 miles offshore. This is Day 4 of the search for missing Jacksonville Firefighter, Brian McCluney and Virginia Firefighter, Justin Walker. The Coast Guard said it was not clear if the cooler top belongs to the two missing firefighters. Hell be found.RELATED: Searchers remain optimistic but 'next 24 hours are critical'WHAT WE KNOW & DON'T KNOW: Firefighters missing at seaWATCH: Volunteers aid in search for missing firefighters by boatIn addition to fellow firefighters, the search is also impacting loved ones.
News4Jax joins volunteer boaters searching for missing firefighters
More than 200 volunteers continued to search Tuesday for the two firefighters who have been missing in the Atlantic Ocean since Friday night. News4Jax went out into the Atlantic Ocean with boat operator Carlos Serrano and Navy veteran Todd Fallin, who were among volunteer searchers going about 70 miles off the coast as part of a search grid. The Coast Guard assigns each volunteer boater a specific area of the Atlantic Ocean, and that was the assignment that was given to Serrano and Fallin. The Coast Guard and other mariner radio traffic could be heard every hour, but there was no confirmation of the two firefighters missing in the Atlantic Ocean. When the boat eventually returned to the dock before sunset, everyone was hopeful that the firefighters will be found.
Brunswick, Savannah boat owners needed in search for missing firefighters
"We're now in the fifth day of what has become an extraordinarily large and complex search and rescue operation," U.S. Coast Guard Capt. According to the Coast Guard, as of Tuesday evening, the search had covered 69,000 square miles, with an estimated 182 hours of searches. The Coast Guard was alerted at 8 p.m. Friday when they never returned to shore and weren't receiving texts or calls. Natasha was joined by several other private planes as well as Coast Guard planes from Sarasota, helicopters from Savannah and a Customs and Border Protection planes from Jacksonville. Anyone with information about the boaters or who can help in the search is asked to call the Coast Guard at 904-714-7565.
What toll does being stranded at sea take on your health?
The best-case scenario is that they are still drifting out to sea in the boat. Even if that's the case, Dr. Andrew Schmidt with UF Health Jacksonville said there are serious medical concerns. If that's the case, they could be wearing life vests or clinging to something to stay afloat. He said an ordeal like this can also take a toll on mental health. "It can really do a number on someones mental health for a couple reasons," he said.
Volunteer who found tackle bag felt called to come search
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A volunteer searcher who pulled a glimmer of hope out of the ocean Monday when he spotted a missing fisherman's tackle bag told News4Jax he felt called to join the search. The pair have been missing since they left Friday on a fishing trip out of Port Canaveral. On Monday, hours after McCluney's wife, Stephanie, posted on Facebook that Miracles happen on Day 3! Shurling's group spotted a tackle bag on the ocean about 50 nautical miles off the coast of St. Augustine. The bag turned out to be McCluney's. He said he was at church Sunday in Savannah when he felt compelled to help look for the missing firefighters.
Survivor recounts 3 days lost at sea in 2010
The search for two firefighters stranded at sea brought back vivid memories for one man whose fishing trip nine years ago turned into a fight to survive. John Nevarez; his brother, Elias; and his wife, Rebecca, were found by the Coast Guard in the Atlantic Ocean, holding onto a cooler, after three days of drifting at sea. In May 2010, Nevarez, his brother and wife left from a boat ramp in Mayport to go on a fishing trip. WATCH: Survivor recounts experience being lost at seaTheir training in the Navy kicked in and they clung to a cooler, rationing food. Despite that experience, Naverez said he and his wife went back out for a boating trip in the ocean.
Missing boater's wife posts 'miracles happen' hours before tackle bag found
Hours later, Stephanie McCluney announced that her husband's tackle bag was found 50 nautical miles off the coast of St. Augustine. The Coast Guard confirmed a volunteer who was assisting in the search discovered the bag. JFRD will start gridding the area and giving assignments again at 7 a.m. Tuesday from Mayport boat ramp. The Coast Guard was alerted at 8 p.m. Friday when they never returned to shore and weren't receiving texts or calls. Anyone with information about the boaters or who can help in the search is asked to call the Coast Guard at 904-714-7565.
Loved ones flood ocean & beach with prayers for firefighters stranded at sea
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - Family and friends continued to hold on to hope on the third day of searching for two firefighters lost at sea. Loved ones gathered Monday evening at Micker's Landing in northern St. Johns County for a prayer and beach walk. They held hands and stood in a circle as they flooded the ocean and beach with prayers. Then the walked along the beach, looking for any clues offshore that might be linked to the missing boaters. Theyre going to be together.
6 items that could save your life if you're lost at sea
McCluneys brother alerted the Coast Guard when the pair did not return. These PFDs must meet requirements outlined by the Coast Guard, they should fit their wearers and be handy in the event of an emergency. Visual distress signalsAny boat that measures 16 feet or longer must have visual distress signals on board, according to the Coast Guard. Give a copy of the float plan to a loved one and keep them updated on your progress throughout the trip. If you're not sure you've covered all your bases, the Coast Guard has put together a complete guide to boating safety.
After false sighting, search & prayers continue for missing boaters
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The search for two missing firefighters at sea, one from Jacksonville intensifies on day three. Due to the amount of people wanting to help in the search efforts for Firefighters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker. Interim Director Fire Chief Keith Powers said firefighters in Jacksonville will continue the search until their fellow firefighters are found. The Coast Guard was alerted at 8 p.m. Friday when they never returned to shore and weren't receiving texts or calls. Anyone with information about the boaters or can help in the search is asked to call the Coast Guard at 904-714-7565.
Coast Guard: Items 50 miles off shore of North Florida not from missing boat
(Photo below of missing boaters launching the boat Friday courtesy Cori Turner Herring via Facebook)McCluney's brother, Kevin, said this boating outing had sentimental value to his Justin. The items found in the water were spotted about 50 miles off the coast of Mayport, however, the Coast Guard said the life vests and cooler were not from the missing boat. Fire Rescue crews have joined Coast guard crews which have already searched more than 4,800 square miles, going 80 miles offshore, searching by sea and air. The Coast Guard was alerted at 8 p.m. Friday when they never returned to shore, and weren't receiving texts or calls. Anyone with information about the boaters or can help in the search is asked to call the Coast Guard at 904-714-7565.
2 firefighters disappear on Florida fishing trip
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CNN) - Authorities say they have searched almost 5,000 square miles of ocean for two firefighters who disappeared after setting out from Port Canaveral, Florida, on a fishing trip. Their destination was 8A Reef, an offshore fishing spot, the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard, along with multiple local and county agencies, started searching by boat and air on Friday night. "I hoped that by daylight it would bring us something," McCluney's wife, Stephanie, told CNN affiliate WFTV on Saturday. As the search continues, the Coast Guard is asking for anyone with information to call 904-714-7558.
Search for firefighters missing at sea intensifies, prayer walks set
The two men, both firefighters -- one with Jacksonville Fire Rescue --haven't been seen or heard from since they left. JFRD members coordinated a search along with the Coast Guard. Coast guard crews have already searched more than 4,800 square miles, going 80 miles offshore, searching by sea and air. The Coast Guard was alerted at 8 p.m. Friday when they never returned to shore, and weren't receiving texts or calls. Anyone with information about the boaters or can help in the search is asked to call the Coast Guard at 904-714-7565.
Coast Guard searches for Jacksonville and Virginia firefighters missing at sea
When they hadn't returned or contacted anyone by 8 p.m., McCluney's brother called the Coast Guard. "Coast Guard said they haven't seen any debris fields. Stephanie McCluney said she is impressed by the efforts of both the Coast Guard and JFRD. Stephanie McCluney said the two men know each other from fire school in South Florida. At about 8 p.m. Saturday, the 7th District U.S. Coast Guard tweeted that the search will continue throughout the night.