JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - 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.
Jacksonville Interim Fire Chief Keith Powers said the agency needs as "many boats as we can get" to assemble Tuesday morning as the search for Brian McCluney and Justin Walker continues. The men set out in their 24-foot (7.3-meter) boat from Port Canaveral last Friday.
The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies have been searching a wide area of ocean between Cape Canaveral and Jacksonville. On Monday, crews found McCluney's fishing tackle bag some 50 miles (80 kilometers) off St. Augustine.
McCluney works for the Jacksonville department while Walker is a master technician for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Virginia.
McCluney's wife said Tuesday the discovery of her husband's tackle bag has given her hope that the men will be found. In a Facebook post, Stephanie McCluney said she believes the bag is breadcrumb the men threw overboard to help those who are looking for them.
The pilot says they plan to refuel every four hours in St. Augustine as they search for Justin Walker and Brian McCluney. Justin's wife Natasha says she believes the supplies recovered so far are the breadcrumbs that will lead them to the two firefighters. #Fox35 pic.twitter.com/usl6PcFpZN— Amanda McKenzie (@AmandaMckNews) August 20, 2019