After year, memorial to be held for firefighters who vanished at sea

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On Friday, loved ones will gather to remember two firefighters who went on a fishing trip one year ago and didn’t return.

Engineer Brian McCluney with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and Virginia firefighter Justin Walker launched from Cape Canaveral. The U.S. Coast Guard did an exhaustive search for the two friends.

Their tackle bag was the only thing recovered.

McCluney’s wife, Stephanie, said she’s grateful for the memories of her husband. She wants the memorial service to be a celebration of his life.

“This weekend will always be filled with heartache and grief that we’ll carry forward, but I really wanted a happy way to remember and honor Brian and Justin, and the ocean seems like the closest place we can get to them,” she said.

McCluney’s wife is planning a paddle out memorial for her husband at the same dock he Walker launched from. Their 24 foot center console boat was never found during 10 days of searches covering 105,000 square miles of ocean from Florida to the Carolinas.

To this day, no one knows what happened to the men out at sea.

Stephanie McCluney says her family and her children are resilient and still joyful, but they desperately miss their father. She says her strong faith and belief in God is helping her find her purpose behind the pain.

″I find such support in knowing that I lost this incredible pillar in my life. I have lost it, but people are coming to know Jesus and know God, relying on their faith, it doesn’t make it easier, but it provides a purpose behind it,” she said.

The memorial will begin at 5 p.m. Friday at Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral.

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Source:: Headlines News4jax


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