JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The search for two missing firefighters from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and his friend, a firefighter from Fairfax, Va., will end at sundown Thursday after neither returned from a fishing trip.

The firefighters, identified as JFRD's Brian McCluney and Fairfax's Justin Walker were last seen leaving the Christopher Columbus boat ramp in Port Canaveral, Fla. on Friday. McCluney is an engineer at District 31 on Jacksonville's Westside.

If you'd like to volunteer during Thursday's search in the South Carolina area, call Chief Barrow  Wednesday night at 904-813-5315. Volunteers without boats can call 904-763-9747. 

RELATED: TIMELINE: Summary of key events in search efforts for two missing firefighters

LIVE BLOG:

Thursday: 

8:01 p.m.: Sunset on the First Coast. Officials end the active search for the two missing firefighters after seven days of searching.

12 p.m.: The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the U.S. Coast Guard announced that they will be suspending active search operations for the two missing firemen at sundown on Thursday.

"We had to make the extremely difficult decision to suspend the search at sundown," said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun. "But when suspend a search we never stop operating."

The Coast Guard said that the search was called off due to the lack of new information and the decreased likelihood of success. 

"It's an extremely tough decision when you have a brother out there that you just can't find," said JFRD's Chief Keith Powers.

The search spanned over 105,000 square miles, twice the size of Florida, from Port Canaveral to New England. 

"In my 25-year-career with the U.S. Coast Guard I have never seen a larger search operation," said Vlaun during the press conference.

RELATED: U.S Coast Guard, JFRD suspending active search for missing firemen at sundown

Prayer for missing firemen
JFRD Chaplin prays with searchers Wednesday.
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department

 

10:58 a.m.: Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry talks about the conversation he had with wives of missing firefighters on Wednesday.

"...it's difficult to find the right words, what words will have value and meaning. So what I tried to do is express that what you're seeing from the community is the feeling of the city at large and that while the men and women are out working with them and their families we're also praying."

10:30 a.m.: The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department announces that they will be giving an update at the Lexington Hotel located on the Southbank of the Jacksonville Riverwalk at 12 p.m. First Coast News will be live streaming this update.

8:21 a.m.: Troy Kless joins U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on their flight to search for missing firefighters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker. 

7:30 a.m.: First Coast News has crews in Mayport, Savannah, Ga. and Charleston, S.C. monitoring the search for the missing firefighters. 

On Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said that the search was shifting northwards, even stretching as far as North Carolina.

The men have now been missing for six days.

5:47 a.m.: First Coast News is reporting from Savannah, Ga. as the search for the missing firefighters begins on Thursday morning. This is Day 6.

Wednesday

10 p.m. -- Two more Florida companies offer $10,000 each to whoever finds McCluney and Walker. Combined with the $10,000 reward offered by Jacksonville Beach-based company 1-800-BOARDUP, whoever finds the two firefighters will be given $30,000 for their efforts.

RELATED: Three Florida businesses offering total of $30K to whoever finds missing firefighters

8:31 p.m. -- U.S. Coast Guard crews have covered 90,306 square miles and will continue to search through the night for the missing firefighters.

6 p.m. -- Both JFRD and the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that the search for McCluney and Walker will continue Thursday morning, but that time "has really become our enemy." Thursday's search will focus on the South Carolina area.

RELATED: Search for missing firefighters will continue Thursday: 'Time has become our enemy'

3:03 p.m. -- The U.S. Coast Guard and multiple agencies have searched over 90,200 square miles for any sign of McCluney and Walker.

2:00 p.m. -- Jacksonville Beach-based company offers $10,000 to any boater or pilot who finds the missing firefighters.

RELATED: Jax Beach company offering $10,000 cash reward for any boater, pilot who finds missing firefighters

12 p.m. -- The U.S. Coast Guard said that it'll decide Wednesday evening if the search for the two missing firefighters will continue. 

"I said yesterday it's a race against time, but it's becoming more acute," Capt. Mark Vlaun said during a noon news conference Wednesday.

Jacksonville fireman Brian McCluney and Justin Walker, a Fairfax, Va. firefighter, were last seen leaving a boat ramp to go fishing near Port Canaveral.

Vlaun said the search is becoming increasingly difficult because of a lack of clues and the Gulf Stream.

"Our last known object is approaching two-days old," Vlaun said about the tackle bag searchers found in the ocean that belonged to McCluney. 

While searchers are still clinging to hope, Vlaun said " ... in the evening we will learn if we can actively search and where."

The next news briefing on the search is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday.

RELATED: Coast Guard to re-evaluate Wednesday evening if search will continue for two missing firemen

10:45 a.m. -- Lewis Turner reports from a boat ramp in Brunswick, Georgia. He confirms there are multiple people searching in the area with the focus of the search contining to move northward.

7:02 a.m. -- People start to show up in Mayport to volunteer to search for the two missing firemen. 

JFRD wants to go full force and says that this is still being considered a rescue mission. Search is primarily going out of Mayport, Brunswick and Savannah. 

6:49 a.m. -- A stranger leaves lucky stones for the boaters who are volunteering to search for the two firefighters with a note that says "Boaters + Search and Rescue, please take one in hope that today we find Brian McCluney and Justin Walker. Keep in pocket for protection #BringThemHome."

Tuesday

7:39 p.m. -- U.S. Coast Guard announces they will search through the night for the missing firefighters. At this time, the search has covered 69,000 square miles with an estimated 182 hours of searches, according to the Coast Guard. 

6 p.m. -- A vigil is held in Riverside with families of both McCluney and Walker in Jacksonville. 

5 p.m. -- The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the U.S. Coast Guard held another media briefing on the search. "We're going again tomorrow, strong," JFRD Chief Keith Powers said adding that they're still in need of volunteers in the Brunswick and Savannah, Ga. area. 

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun said while their mission is still a rescue, "to be clear, we're in a race against time." The decision to continue searching rests with Vlaun. After five days of looking for McCluney and Walker, Vlaun said they're looking desperately for more clues and will continue searching into the night Tuesday. 

RELATED: 'We are in a race against time' JFRD, Coast Guard gives update on search for missing firefighters

3:30 p.m. -- First Coast News rides with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department as the search continues for McCluney and Walker.

The wife of Justin Walker of Fairfax, Va. joined the search for her husband Tuesday morning. "I feel like I’m searching too," she said. "I’ve been getting frustrated without results … going to bed at night and feeling guilty eating and going to sleep because I know our husbands are out there not doing that." 

12 p.m. -- JFRD and the U.S. Coast Guard gave an update on their search for McCluney and Walker who have been missing for five days.

During the press conference, U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun stated that the mission to find the two men is "absolutely 100 percent still a rescue operation" and that they will continue to searching.

Vlaun also stated that they found several pieces of plastic, including a styrofoam cooler top, but says that these are commonly found in the ocean and have not been linked to the missing boaters directly.

RELATED: After five days lost at sea, Coast Guard says search for missing Florida boaters still '100 percent a rescue operation'

9:12 a.m -- The Coast Guard says that an HC-130 search plane and 2 CBP C-130 planes are conducting a first light search and two patrol boats and a fast response cutter searched through the night and remain on scene.

7:15 a.m. - At least two dozen volunteers start showing up to aid in the search for JFRD's Brian McCluney and Fairfax's Justin Walker. This is Day #4 of the search.

7 a.m. - People are convening at the JFRD Command Center vehicle in Mayport, ready to help search for missing firefighters Brian McCluney and Justin Walker.

JFRD is asking anyone with a boat capable of traveling 30 to 60 miles to join their search team.

If you‘d like to join the search team, bring binoculars and a SAT phone if you have one. JFRD believes the two firemen could still be alive because they have the skills to survive the conditions they’re facing - they just need to be found. JFRD wants all the eyes they can get. 

6:26 a.m. - Sun begins to rise in Port Canaveral and boaters tell First Coast News they are still keeping an eye out for anything related to Brian McCluney and Justin Walker.

Monday

7:06 p.m. -- U.S. Coast Guard says crews will search through the night. The Coast Guard says 46,800 square miles have been covered with active searches lasting about 108 hours.

RELATED: How the Gulf Stream could impact search efforts for missing boaters

6 p.m. -- JFRD gave an update saying search efforts will focus on an area 50 miles east of St. Augustine where a tackle bag belonging to McCluney was found. Volunteers wishing to aid in a search in that area must report to the Mayport Boat ramp at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

5:30 p.m. -- A vigil and beach walk is held at Mickler's Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach. Over a dozen people gathered to pray for the safety of the missing boaters as well those out at sea looking for them.

RELATED: Search efforts for missing firefighters focusing on area 50 miles east of St. Augustine, JFRD asks for more volunteers

5:30 p.m. -- A vigil and beach walk is held at Mickler's Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach. Over a dozen people gathered to pray for the safety of the missing boaters as well those out at sea looking for them.

Around 2 p.m. - Brian McCluney's wife, Stephanie, posts to Facebook saying that rescue crews found her husband's tackle bag. "I wholeheartedly believe this is a bread crumb they through overboard to say 'we are here, come find us."

RELATED: Missing Florida boater's tackle bag found off St. Augustine coast | 'This is a breadcrumb'

Prayer warriors, I have confirmed this is Brian's tackle bag. It was found off the coast of st Augustine, 50 miles out. CG is sending assets. I wholeheartedly believe this is a bread crumb they...

2:07 p.m. -- A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations multi-role enforcement aircraft crew based in Jacksonville heads out to assist in search efforts.

1:51 p.m. - Brian McCluney’s wife tells First Coast News she has faith her husband will be found, crediting her faith and her Lord. 

"Day three was the greatest miracle of all when our Lord and Christ was resurrected from the grave. Day three is a big day."

12:15 p.m.- The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department gives an update. Says they are thankful for crews working the search, and that this is still very much a rescue mission based on the advanced skill-set of the two men.

“This is still absolutely a rescue mission," JFRD Chief Keith Powers said during a news conference Monday, a full three days since the men disappeared. "We’re talking about a decorated combat veteran, we’re talking about a firefighter, paramedic. These guys have the skills to survive a long time. He was raised on the water his entire life. We’re going to continue this effort until we find Brian."

RELATED: JFRD Chief on search for missing Florida boaters: 'These guys have the skills to survive a long time'

Powers said about 36 boats and 135 people are continuing to search about 5,000 square miles from Brunswick, Ga. to St. Augustine from the beach out about 60 miles. 

11:58 a.m. - Update given from the United Stated Coast Guard stating that crews are currently searching using 87-ft patrol boats and an HC-130 search plane.

10:19 a.m.- FCN reporter, Kailey Tracy is onboard a boat that will be giving us a first-hand look at some of the areas being searched.  She says the Coast Guard comes over radio traffic every 15 minutes alerting those on the water about the missing boaters.

8:12 a.m. -- United States Coast Guard gives an update on the number of miles searched.  Crews have totaled an estimated 24,000 miles and both with surface and air assets.

7:45 a.m -- Crews begin arriving in Mayport and await their search assignment from command.

6 a.m. -- First Coast News hears from Brian McCluney’s family, who says that they will be out at Port Canaveral on Monday, walking the beach and searching from the shore.

Sunday

9:08 p.m. -- The U.S. Coast Guard says crews will continue to search through the night with surface and air assets. Over 20,000 miles have been covered in the search from Port Canaveral up to Charleston, S.C.

5:40 p.m. -- The U.S. Coast Guard reports no boat has been found and floating items that were found in the water 50 miles east of Jacksonville are not related to the two missing firefighters.

RELATED: Coast Guard: No boat found, floating items not related to missing JFRD boater

4 p.m. -- Brian McCluney's wife, Stephanie McCluney, speaks to First Coast News about when she realized something was wrong and that her husband was missing. She also says her faith and "army of prayer warriors" has kept her strong throughout the search.

"I know that the ocean is large and my God I serve is larger," Stephanie McCluney said. "He can change the winds and the waters at His command. I have faith."

RELATED: Wife of missing JFRD firefighter: 'I have an army of support ... I have faith'

2:49 p.m. -- The U.S. Coast Guard investigates a reported debris field 50 miles east of St. Augustine. The debris field is confirmed to not be related to the disappearance of McCluney and Walker.

12:55 p.m. -- A donation page is set up to raise money to aid in search efforts. 

RELATED: Donation page set up to help with search efforts for missing JFRD, Fairfax firefighters

10:44 a.m. -- U.S. Coast Guard announces the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, U.S. Custom and Border Protection, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office and around 15 good Samaritan vessels are aiding in the search.

10:33 a.m. -- The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies concentrate their search near the Gulf Stream as good Samaritans search as far as 15 miles off the coast from south Georgia. 

8:22 a.m. -- JFRD confirms 50 firefighters and 11 boats are searching for McCluney and Walker alongside the Coast Guard in the Vilano and Daytona Beach area.

RELATED: JFRD: 50 firefighters, 11 boats searching for boaters missing in Florida; two firefighters went missing Friday, search continues Sunday

7:15 a.m. -- Coast Guard crews searched an estimated 4,800 miles. Crews searched the Port Canaveral area up to just north of Jacksonville and 80 miles offshore.

Saturday

8:09 p.m. -- U.S. Coast Guard searches throughout the night for McCluney and Walker.

RELATED: Search continues for missing Jacksonville, Fla., Fairfax, Va. firefighters who went fishing in a boat near Port Canaveral

5:47 p.m. -- Around 4,400 miles are searched for over 24 hours by the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and civilians.

10:15 a.m. -- U.S. Coast Guard announced the disappearance of McCluney and Walker, tweeting the last known image taken of the firefighters as they were reportedly headed to 8A Reef.


FULL TIMELINE OF EVENTS: