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Search continues for missing boaters on Florida fishing trip

Posted at 5:12 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 17:12:11-04

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two boaters have been missing since Friday, but search and rescue crews are still hopeful they'll be found alive.

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching an area almost half of Florida's Atlantic coast. The search extends from Cape Canaveral to Jacksonville.

Brian McCluney and Justin Walker were heading toward a fishing spot known as 8A Reef.

The boaters were supposed to have returned Friday.

"This is still absolutely a rescue mission. We're talking about a decorated combat veteran here, we're talking about a firefighter/paramedic," said Chief Keith Powers, with the Jacksonville Fire Department. "These guys have the skills to survive for a long time and we're going to continue this effort until we find Brian."

The Coast Guard says it's searching by boat and air, and that 10 crews scoured 24,000 miles over the weekend.

Jacksonville Fire officials say 50 firefighters assisted in the search on 11 boats over the weekend.