PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Three Florida businesses are offering a total of $30,000 to whoever finds two firefighters who went missing Friday during a fishing trip near Port Canaveral.
Palm Beach Valley Outdoor Bar & Grill in Ponte Vedra Beach, International Marine in Boynton Beach and 1-800-BOARDUP in Jacksonville Beach are each offering $10,000 for the safe return of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department firefighter Brian McCluney and Fairfax, Va. firefighter Justin Walker.
Toni Kara, owner of Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill, hopes the reward will bring the community one step closer to finding Jacksonville firefighter Brian McCluney and Fairfax, Va. firefighter Justin Walker.
"If it just gets one person to sign up and go out and find them, then it's worth every penny," Kara said. "They need to come home."
International Marine CEO Michel Reimer released the following statement:
"We are now at crunch time. We are currently still in rescue mode and feel we can make a difference relating to the survival of these two incredible brother Firefighters. If you have an asset that can be used to enhance the rescue mission, now is the time to deploy these assets safely, effectively, and with precision. International Marine wants to bring attention to this mission as we feel boaters and pilots outside of the North Florida area will make a difference in the outcome of this operation. These firefighters have spent a career helping others and now we are presented with an opportunity to do the very same for them. They deserve every single ounce of effort we can put forth, and make no mistake, we will deliver. Please take a day off tomorrow and search for these heroes."
Earlier, 1-800-BOARDUP posted a statement about their reward to Facebook, saying in part:
"Time is of the essence. We want to bring immediate attention to this urgent matter to boaters and pilots outside of the North Florida [area] who might not be aware of this situation or share the conviction of the heart that we have for our local hometown heroes."
On Wednesday, both JFRD and the U.S. Coast Guard emphasized that while the search will continue Thursday morning, time is not on their side.
"We're in some critical times right now," Interim Director/Fire Chief Keith Powers said. "Time has really become our enemy."
Powers said Thursday's search will focus as far north as the South Carolina area.
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun said Thursday could mark a serious turning point in the search.
"Tomorrow we're going to have a conversation about whether or not we continue an active search or regular patrol," Vlaun said. "We're all struggling and we're all hoping to find something that would spark an ability to contract a search ... We've gone more than two days now since the last time we found anything."
If you'd like to volunteer during Thursday's search, call Chief Barrow at 904-813-5315.
MORE ABOUT THE MISSING FIREFIGHTERS