Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard has called off the search for two missing firefighters who disappeared after leaving for a fishing trip from Florida last week.
Officials said the firefighters departed from the coast of Port Canaveral, near the Kennedy Space Center, on Aug. 16. They were identified as Jacksonville, Fla., firefighter Brian McCluney and Fairfax, Va., firefighter Justin Walker.
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Vlaun said the search covered nearly 150,000 square miles from Florida to New England, but crews are no longer able to look for the men with a "probability of success." The search was formally called off late Thursday.
"Our Coast Guard men and women worked tirelessly alongside federal, state, and local partner agencies as well as countless volunteers searching for Brian and Justin," Vlaun said in a statement.
A tackle bag belonging to McCluney was found about 50 nautical miles off the coast of St. Augustine, Fla., about 100 miles from where they left in their 24-foot boat.
Authorities hoped that, because the men fished in the ocean often and McCluney had served in the Navy, they would ultimately be found in good condition.
"If some further clue opens up, we would restart the search and rescue process," Vlaun said. "We just have to continue to pray alongside the family that we learn something going forward that will allow us to respond again."
Several agencies were involved in the search, including the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Customs and Border Protection and Civil Air Patrol.