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Seņor Stan
03-01-2009, 01:36 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-missingboaters-nfl&prov=ap&type=lgns

Corey Smith(DET) and Marquis Cooper(OAK)

WesmanTexanfan
03-01-2009, 01:38 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-missingboaters-nfl&prov=ap&type=lgns

Corey Smith(DET) and Marquis Cooper(OAK)

Scary....

HoustonFrog
03-01-2009, 05:46 PM
This is very sad indeed. I hope the wind and waves that are being reported just threw them off line and did not sink them.

rarazz00
03-01-2009, 06:02 PM
It's actually 4 people not just two NFL players..either way this isn't looking too favorable...my prayers are with em' and their families.

TEXANRED
03-01-2009, 06:10 PM
They play for Detroit and Oakland? Hell of a way to get out of your contract.

HOU-TEX
03-02-2009, 11:56 AM
Man, it doesn't sound good.

The Coast Guard has reportedly found an overturned boat with a "person clinging to it" off the Gulf of Mexico.

It's said to be Nick Schuyler, who was fishing with Corey Smith, Marquis Cooper, and Will Bleakley late Saturday. Hopefully Schuyler has an idea of where the others might be. The search has been going on for over 24 hours.

http://www.rotoworld.com/Content/home_NFL.aspx

HoustonFrog
03-02-2009, 12:46 PM
Man, it doesn't sound good.



http://www.rotoworld.com/Content/home_NFL.aspx

I saw this. I really thought they might find them way off course..this makes it seem like they are all over and in trouble. Hopefully they had life jackets on and are floating somewhere.

HOU-TEX
03-02-2009, 01:39 PM
I saw this. I really thought they might find them way off course..this makes it seem like they are all over and in trouble. Hopefully they had life jackets on and are floating somewhere.

At lunch I noticed the NFLN scroll saying the remaining 3 did in fact have life jackets on. Not to sound like an ass, but I reckon they might've been bait floating at sea that amount of time.

TEXANS84
03-02-2009, 01:54 PM
They just said they've found Cooper alive as well.

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/custom/story.aspx?storyid=98476&catid=20

swtbound07
03-02-2009, 01:57 PM
how the hell can you cling to a boat for 2 days? Thats crazy impressive

HOU-TEX
03-02-2009, 01:57 PM
They just said they've found Cooper alive as well.

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/custom/story.aspx?storyid=98476&catid=20

That's awesome! Wonder why they didn't stick together. :thinking:

swtbound07
03-02-2009, 01:58 PM
That's awesome! Wonder why they didn't stick together. :thinking:

the guy clinging to the boat said when it flipped that they became seperated.

Texecutioner
03-02-2009, 01:58 PM
Found two alive? Well that is great news. It should be interesting in the next few days to hear what happened and all. This sounds like it was an extremely tragic event.

HoustonFrog
03-02-2009, 02:03 PM
the guy clinging to the boat said when it flipped that they became seperated.

That is what I read...it was anchored, it flipped, they got seperated.

Carr Bombed
03-02-2009, 02:05 PM
That's awesome! Wonder why they didn't stick together. :thinking:

In the open waters, in rough seas that's nearly impossible.

bah007
03-02-2009, 10:22 PM
They just said they've found Cooper alive as well.

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/custom/story.aspx?storyid=98476&catid=20

Apparently this was a mistake.

Everyone else is reporting that Cooper is still out there with the other two.

Only one has been found so far.

HOU-TEX
03-03-2009, 03:46 PM
I'm sorry to hear this.

The Coast Guard announced that it will end its search for NFL players Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper and former college player Will Bleakley at 6:30 ET Tuesday.

A life vest and cooler were found near where Nick Schuyler was rescued, but Schuyler is currently the lone survivor. The Coast Guard officially calls the hunt "suspended," but it won't resume barring an unexpected break. "Any search and rescue case where we have to stop is disappointing," Capt. Timothy Close said. "I think the families understood we put in a tremendous effort." Asked why the search was halted, Close said "It has to do with our confidence level that we would found anybody on the surface level at this point."

http://www.rotoworld.com/Content/home_NFL.aspx

Texan_Bill
03-03-2009, 03:49 PM
I'm sorry to hear this.



http://www.rotoworld.com/Content/home_NFL.aspx


That's not good news. The Coast Guard is very good at exhausting all of their resources trying to find people, but when they give up the search - it's pretty bleak.

Double Barrel
03-03-2009, 03:53 PM
yikes...I hate to hear that. :(

TEXANS84
03-03-2009, 04:01 PM
Sad news, I've been following this very closely.
Thoughts and prayers of the 3 lost and their families.

Mailman
03-03-2009, 04:30 PM
What a terrible tragedy. Being adrift in the ocean with nothing but a life vest and the clothes on one's body would be a very lonely and terrifying experience.

Thoughts and prayers to the three missing fishermen and their families. May they find peace in the difficult days ahead.

WesmanTexanfan
03-03-2009, 11:12 PM
Just reported on ESPN that the search is being called off,. Thats scary stuff. Sal Palantonio said they found a cooler and a life vest today but that they would no longer be looking. I dont have a link, it was on NFL live.

mexican_texan
03-03-2009, 11:27 PM
I have a feeling they got picked up by a ship. The minute I heard the news, I thought, "they're going to resurface in Africa or Europe."

I hope I'm right.

bah007
03-04-2009, 08:44 AM
They interviewed the guy that they took out of the water and he said that he thinks the two NFL guys gave up hope and took their life jackets off.

They are reluctant to believe him though because he was in bad shape when they got to him.

painekiller
03-04-2009, 09:41 AM
Most life vest only last a few days with a person in them, then they become waterlogged. The Coast Gaurd can do tidal and wind models on a computer and get close to where the missing maybe, but once the vest become waterlogged the odds of finding survivors go way down.

And depending on the tidal and wind conditions these men may never be found, the Gulf is a big place.

I feel so sorry for the family, they are going to hold on to hope as long as they can, and in this situation they may never get the closure. Sad.

Hardcore Texan
03-04-2009, 10:40 AM
That must be a very terrifying way to go, all the thoughts that would go through your head. Horrible to even think about. Anyone know the temperature of the water in that area? I was wondering about hypothermia getting them, but I guess the chances after 3 days and the CG giving up it's all but certain they didn't make it. Very tragic.

I need to find out how far offshore they wore, a 21 ft. boat is not that big to be too far out, especially if rough weather is expected.

ATX
03-04-2009, 10:52 AM
Someone lost at sea in a life vest has basically 3 days to live if they're lucky. If the sharks didn't get them, dehydration did. Horrible story and situation to have to be in if you ask me.

Joe Texan
03-04-2009, 11:03 AM
35 miles in a 21 foot boat, The captian should have gone down with the ship. All could have been rescued if they had tied them selves to the boat butonly 1 did. It is truly sad the the NFL guys went on a trip when they could have chartered a 40 foot guided boat or something. I hope they swam to shore but 35 miles is a long way even for Michael Phelps or Marc Spitz. 15 foot swells when it flipped, might have been hard to find the boat.

WWJD
03-04-2009, 11:12 AM
That must be a very terrifying way to go, all the thoughts that would go through your head. Horrible to even think about. Anyone know the temperature of the water in that area? I was wondering about hypothermia getting them, but I guess the chances after 3 days and the CG giving up it's all but certain they didn't make it. Very tragic.

I need to find out how far offshore they wore, a 21 ft. boat is not that big to be too far out, especially if rough weather is expected.


I heard on TV the other day when the story broke that the water temp was in the 60's. And I think they were very far out..50 miles maybe?

HoustonFrog
03-04-2009, 11:14 AM
That must be a very terrifying way to go, all the thoughts that would go through your head. Horrible to even think about. Anyone know the temperature of the water in that area? I was wondering about hypothermia getting them, but I guess the chances after 3 days and the CG giving up it's all but certain they didn't make it. Very tragic.

I need to find out how far offshore they wore, a 21 ft. boat is not that big to be too far out, especially if rough weather is expected.

The water was anywhere from 60-65 degrees, which is cold and hypothermia can set in within 24 hours according to the CG.

Also, there were many articles about this but the waves were at 6 feet by about 11 am so they should have turned back then but a boat who had followed them siad they kept going. Why were they anchored that afternoon? I also read that you can buy these Epirb devices that give SOS signals when pressed but they didn't have one I believe

Here is an article about what they are saying happened

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/article980681.ece

Jason Adams of Palm Harbor said he followed a boat he thought must have been Cooper's as it left the dock. He was in a 19-foot Cape Horn, just slightly smaller than the Everglades craft. "Only three boats were going out that early," Adams said. He and his buddy followed the one "with four big guys in it" for a couple of hours.

But by 11 a.m., he said, the wind picked up and the water was spitting whitecaps. "We started getting nervous," Adams said.

"Within 20 minutes, the seas were at 6 feet. We decided we had to get out of there. It took us 2 1/2 hours to get back."

The boat they had been following, he said, kept going.

"The Gulf of Mexico can go from flat to rough very quickly," said Ed Chambers, an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "You have to watch the cold fronts. You can be running along in 2-foot seas and within 15 minutes, be battling 8-footers."

No one knows why Cooper dropped anchor so far off Egmont Key on Saturday afternoon. He had asked another angler for coordinates for good amberjack fishing and might have been headed to a deep-water spring 50 miles offshore.

Double Barrel
03-04-2009, 11:25 AM
I agree with Joe Texan's take. What the heck were they doing that far out in a 21 ft. boat when they could have easily afforded a much larger vessel with an experienced captain?

swtbound07
03-04-2009, 11:32 AM
The thing is, the water out here? Remarkably, almost deceptively mild. People are out in in boats every single day here. They truthfully probably would have been fine, but the weather the morning they set out took a sharp sharp turn. Storms were bad, and temperature dropped rapidly.

nunusguy
03-04-2009, 11:33 AM
You know there had to be alcohol involved here, possibly a lot of it.
Not good when you're in a situation where you may need to make decisions
that involve your survival.

Texecutioner
03-04-2009, 12:17 PM
You know there had to be alcohol involved here, possibly a lot of it.
Not good when you're in a situation where you may need to make decisions
that involve your survival.

Good point. I just think they were probably pretty inexperienced, and got caught in a situation that they were nowhere near prepared for.

Gotta respect the power of the ocean man.

Hardcore Texan
03-04-2009, 12:28 PM
I agree with Joe Texan's take. What the heck were they doing that far out in a 21 ft. boat when they could have easily afforded a much larger vessel with an experienced captain?

This was the first thing that bothered me about the story, but I wasn't sure how far exactly offshore they were. You couldn't pay me to be that far offshore in a boat that small, unless there are alot of shallow areas and islands you could take cover on if you had to.

Mailman
03-04-2009, 12:46 PM
Good point. I just think they were probably pretty inexperienced, and got caught in a situation that they were nowhere near prepared for.

Gotta respect the power of the ocean man.

From what I've read, Cooper wasn't inexperienced at all. He'd owned that boat for quite some time and had been on numerous fishing trips offshore.

Texecutioner
03-04-2009, 12:48 PM
From what I've read, Cooper wasn't inexperienced at all. He'd owned that boat for quite some time and had been on numerous fishing trips offshore.

It was just what I figured.

What he heck were they doing on a boat that small though that far off shore?

HoustonFrog
03-04-2009, 12:50 PM
From what I've read, Cooper wasn't inexperienced at all. He'd owned that boat for quite some time and had been on numerous fishing trips offshore.

His Dad said he had taken trips with him and that it made him nervous because they would be 50 miles out. Again, the article above seems to make it look like they ignored warnings.

Hardcore Texan
03-04-2009, 12:53 PM
From what I've read, Cooper wasn't inexperienced at all. He'd owned that boat for quite some time and had been on numerous fishing trips offshore.

It was just what I figured.

What he heck were they doing on a boat that small though that far off shore?

If that's experience, that's just bad experience IMO.....just not enough boat for what the sea can dish out in a moment's notice.

Mailman
03-04-2009, 12:54 PM
It was just what I figured.

What he heck were they doing on a boat that small though that far off shore?

I'm sure they were just doing something Cooper had done before. I am a landlubber so there's no chance you'd ever find me in a boat that small that far offshore, but I can understand why Cooper thought it was a manageable situation. Cooper was aware of the weather forecast, which is why he went on Saturday instead of Sunday, but he probably got caught up in the fishing and wasn't paying close enough attention to the changing seas.

Mailman
03-04-2009, 01:14 PM
I have a feeling they got picked up by a ship. The minute I heard the news, I thought, "they're going to resurface in Africa or Europe."

I hope I'm right.

Do you watch a lot of TV? My first thought was "wow if they don't find those guys soon they're gonna swallow water and drown."

No offense because your heart is in the right place, but that's a weird response. Like they'd just wind up on another continent while the Coast Guard searched for them, and nobody on those passing ships would report picking up some random dudes floating in the open ocean?

Showtime100
03-04-2009, 01:25 PM
I think I've become jaded. I saw the interview with Cooper's wife and she just didn't come across as being all that tense about the whole thing. There are a million ways I could have misinterpreted the interview, but it made me wonder what was behind the smile. I have no idea how a person is supposed to act during such an ordeal so I'm just saying what ran through my mind as I saw the interview. For clarity's sake I wonder if she's fine with whatever money they had more than she's upset over losing a husband.

I really thought they would be found alive, maybe she did too. This whole thing is terrible. I can't even imagine.

Double Barrel
03-04-2009, 01:46 PM
This was the first thing that bothered me about the story, but I wasn't sure how far exactly offshore they were. You couldn't pay me to be that far offshore in a boat that small, unless there are alot of shallow areas and islands you could take cover on if you had to.

I agree. The least they could have done was made sure that they had the proper emergency equipment, especially GPS-equipped life preservers. IIRC, they didn't send out an emergency signal. The Coast Guard was notified by someone who was worried that they had not returned. That time difference could have saved their lives.

The thing about experience is that you know the dangers of the sea. While this guy might have had some experience using his boat, it is quite evident that he was inexperienced in the harsh environment that the sea can bring on rather quickly. Otherwise, he would not have gone so far out in a small boat, and, he would have been equipped to take that risk if he had to do it.

HoustonFrog
03-04-2009, 01:57 PM
The doctors are saying one surviving for that long was a miracle

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3951502

TAMPA, Fla. -- A doctor on Wednesday said it's a "miracle" that a man survived being in the cold Gulf water for nearly two days after the boat carrying him, two NFL players and another man capsized off the Florida coast.

Dr. Mark Rumbak said 24-year-old Nick Schuyler is in good condition but will remain in intensive care in case there are complications. Schuyler was in 63-degree Gulf of Mexico water for around 46 hours and probably could have lived only another five to 10 hours if he wasn't rescued Monday, Rumbak said.

"To stay in the water for 46 hours and to be alive afterwards, I think it is a miracle," Rumbak said. "I really do."

Here is the article I paraphrased above about the guys and what the Dad sais

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3949959

In fact, when Bruce and Marquis ventured out on their father-and-son trip, Bruce admitted he was a bit on edge because they had gone so far from the shore -- at least 50 miles, Bruce said. His son, though, was at ease.

"I looked in all four directions and saw nothing but water," said Cooper, a sportscaster for Phoenix's KPNX-TV, "but he knew the sun sets in the west and we came in the east."

Double Barrel
03-04-2009, 02:35 PM
"I looked in all four directions and saw nothing but water," said Cooper, a sportscaster for Phoenix's KPNX-TV, "but he knew the sun sets in the west and we came in the east."

That is a troubling quote, and it sounds like inexperience, IMO. With all of the navigation tools available to mariners these days, nobody should be using the sun as their sole navigation aid while at sea. GPS devices come in all shapes and sizes.

This boat was small.

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/0303/nfl_a_schulyer_300.jpg

HoustonFrog
03-04-2009, 02:47 PM
That is a troubling quote, and it sounds like inexperience, IMO. With all of the navigation tools available to mariners these days, nobody should be using the sun as their sole navigation aid while at sea. GPS devices come in all shapes and sizes.

This boat was small.

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/0303/nfl_a_schulyer_300.jpg

Exactly. One person I heard talking about it...and I mentioned this earlier...said they have these Epirb, which are radio distress beacons that are like $500-$1000. They send out the signal by someone sending it or by automatically sending when it hit water or has pressure problems, etc. I'm not sure on more details but someone who has that money and who goes out that far, etc can afford this and probably has people there within hours. I'm not trying to throw around blame..it just seems like a waste not to have these precautions.

StarStruck
03-04-2009, 03:01 PM
I think I've become jaded. I saw the interview with Cooper's wife and she just didn't come across as being all that tense about the whole thing. There are a million ways I could have misinterpreted the interview, but it made me wonder what was behind the smile. I have no idea how a person is supposed to act during such an ordeal so I'm just saying what ran through my mind as I saw the interview. For clarity's sake I wonder if she's fine with whatever money they had more than she's upset over losing a husband.

I really thought they would be found alive, maybe she did too. This whole thing is terrible. I can't even imagine.

People react differently in the midst of tragedy. Some are very emotional from the onset while others could appear aloof. A dear friend of mine who was quite high spirited and fly off at the drop of a hat, husband was killed in a car accident. I was really worried about her given her emotional makeup and poor health how such a tragedy would affect her. She was the most calm out of family and friends, made arrangements, didn't cry, comforted her children, played solitaire, calm at the funeral and assured everyone that she was fine. Probably two or three weeks later, she asked a relative to take her to the cemetary, and it was then that she went through one of the most heart wrenching grieving stages that one can imagine, and it was almost a daily process for several week, and it could have even been months.

It was from that first hand experience that I realized that a person's outward behavior was not necessarily an indicator to what a person was feeling or at what stage of shock they could be experiencing. I know for a fact that my friend loved her husband dearly and had a very close bond, but if someone didn't know her, the behavior could have been very misleading. I guess in a nutshell, tragedy can affect a person's behavior in different ways, and if someone is not in an obvious emotional state it doesn't mean that they don't really care. Heck, more than likely, if a person stands to profit from someone that they didn't care that much for would probably be the one to deliver an award winning performance.

This is truly a tragedy and my thoughts are with the families and friends of those young men. One of my co-worker's son played on the team with Smith until midway through this last season, and she said that he is really devastated.

Hardcore Texan
03-04-2009, 03:38 PM
People react differently in the midst of tragedy. Some are very emotional from the onset while others could appear aloof. A dear friend of mine who was quite high spirited and fly off at the drop of a hat, husband was killed in a car accident. I was really worried about her given her emotional makeup and poor health how such a tragedy would affect her. She was the most calm out of family and friends, made arrangements, didn't cry, comforted her children, played solitaire, calm at the funeral and assured everyone that she was fine. Probably two or three weeks later, she asked a relative to take her to the cemetary, and it was then that she went through one of the most heart wrenching grieving stages that one can imagine, and it was almost a daily process for several week, and it could have even been months.

It was from that first hand experience that I realized that a person's outward behavior was not necessarily an indicator to what a person was feeling or at what stage of shock they could be experiencing. I know for a fact that my friend loved her husband dearly and had a very close bond, but if someone didn't know her, the behavior could have been very misleading. I guess in a nutshell, tragedy can affect a person's behavior in different ways, and if someone is not in an obvious emotional state it doesn't mean that they don't really care. Heck, more than likely, if a person stands to profit from someone that they didn't care that much for would probably be the one to deliver an award winning performance.

This is truly a tragedy and my thoughts are with the families and friends of those young men. One of my co-worker's son played on the team with Smith until midway through this last season, and she said that he is really devastated.


Good post. I intially percieved the same thing Showtime did and had about the same reaction as he did too when seeing that interivew. I had to remind myself though of exactly what you said in your post. And I believe that's why Showtime left open that possibility in his posts as well that you just don't know how you would react until it happens to you.

HoustonFrog
03-04-2009, 03:45 PM
Good post. I intially percieved the same thing Showtime did and had about the same reaction as he did too when seeing that interivew. I had to remind myself though of exactly what you said in your post. And I believe that's why Showtime left open that possibility in his posts as well that you just don't know how you would react until it happens to you.

I'm convinced that in their heads they think there is a chance. They knew these guys loved the water and she probably knows he was in his element so until the reality of it hits, she might just shut it off and think that he is "out there" surviving and they just missed him. I think with alot of people numbness sets in and maybe, like StarStrucks example, they just have a lonely day at home and it hits.

Showtime100
03-04-2009, 03:49 PM
Good post. I intially percieved the same thing Showtime did and had about the same reaction as he did too when seeing that interivew. I had to remind myself though of exactly what you said in your post. And I believe that's why Showtime left open that possibility in his posts as well that you just don't know how you would react until it happens to you.

Yeah. I really wanted that part clear. I posted my thoughts because I wondered if I was the only one, but knew that she in all likelihood is dealing with it as best she can no matter what the visual would lead one to think. There is a lot to be said for the state of shock and how that can effect us all in different ways.

Also thought Starstruck's post was good. :)

Double Barrel
03-04-2009, 04:08 PM
Exactly. One person I heard talking about it...and I mentioned this earlier...said they have these Epirb, which are radio distress beacons that are like $500-$1000. They send out the signal by someone sending it or by automatically sending when it hit water or has pressure problems, etc. I'm not sure on more details but someone who has that money and who goes out that far, etc can afford this and probably has people there within hours. I'm not trying to throw around blame..it just seems like a waste not to have these precautions.

That's the really sad part. Modern technology is amazing, and all of these guys could have been saved if they had just invested in a few thousand dollars worth of survival gear. The Epirb you mentioned should have been mandatory for what they were doing, as well as GPS-equipped life vests. The Coast Guard would have rescued them in a matter of hours and this story would have been a blip on the radar. Instead, it is a tragedy for many families.

People react differently in the midst of tragedy. Some are very emotional from the onset while others could appear aloof. A dear friend of mine who was quite high spirited and fly off at the drop of a hat, husband was killed in a car accident. I was really worried about her given her emotional makeup and poor health how such a tragedy would affect her. She was the most calm out of family and friends, made arrangements, didn't cry, comforted her children, played solitaire, calm at the funeral and assured everyone that she was fine. Probably two or three weeks later, she asked a relative to take her to the cemetary, and it was then that she went through one of the most heart wrenching grieving stages that one can imagine, and it was almost a daily process for several week, and it could have even been months.

Your story made me choke up. Just reading the last line was so sad.

GlassHalfFull
03-04-2009, 04:31 PM
I'm convinced that in their heads they think there is a chance. They knew these guys loved the water and she probably knows he was in his element so until the reality of it hits, she might just shut it off and think that he is "out there" surviving and they just missed him. I think with alot of people numbness sets in and maybe, like StarStrucks example, they just have a lonely day at home and it hits.

Having a loved one go "missing" is one of the worst things that can happen. You are never able to let go of that small part of you that holds on to hope and truly mourn the person you have lost. You dream (both awake and asleep) about strange scenarios that possibly could have happened. My heart goes out to the families of the missing men. I pray they are able to find the strength they will need to get through the weeks and months ahead.

Hardcore Texan
03-04-2009, 08:08 PM
Having a loved one go "missing" is one of the worst things that can happen. You are never able to let go of that small part of you that holds on to hope and truly mourn the person you have lost. You dream (both awake and asleep) about strange scenarios that possibly could have happened. My heart goes out to the families of the missing men. I pray they are able to find the strength they will need to get through the weeks and months ahead.

Amen.

Htownsportsfan
03-04-2009, 10:03 PM
They showed the boat being towed in the water tonight and it appeared it was a well equipped craft with plenty of electronics but still to small for that far out into open water. Hearing some of the quotes and spending my life on the water all I can assume is the weather changed faster than they expected and they got swamped before they ever thought it possible. The survivor has been quoted as saying they had to swim back under the vessel to retrieve their life vests. Also he mentioned they capsized while at anchor, I dont know if they had engine trouble or what but in a boat that size in rough seas they would need to be moving at the correct speed and direction in HOPES they could avoid being swamped. It is a reeal shame but it happens more often then you would think. I have even had to help get people of swamped boats on Lake Livingston after surprise summer storms kick up large waves.

Sadly it sounds like they got into trouble beforevthey knew it.

HoustonFrog
03-16-2009, 09:00 PM
Final Report is a sad story...there is more to read

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-missingboaters-nfl&prov=ap&type=lgns

TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Two NFL players may have died just a few hours after the fishing boat they were in overturned in rough water, possibly before rescuers were even alerted that they and two others were lost off the west coast of Florida, according to Coast Guard records of the boating accident.

In a 23-page report provided to The Associated Press Monday under a Freedom of Information Act request, the Coast Guard documents two conversations it had with Nick Schuyler, a former University of South Florida player who was the lone survivor.

Schuyler told them that one by one, the other men took off their life vests and disappeared during the ordeal.

Around 5:30 p.m., the report said the group ran into trouble: Their anchor was stuck. Schuyler told investigators that he believed it was caught in a coral reef. They tried to free it, but water filled the boat and it capsized.

Tossed into the frigid water, the men managed to grab their life vests. Schuyler said they held on to the boat for four hours. But as the night wore on, their will to survive appears to have weakened and the effects of hypothermia were likely setting in.

Schuyler told the Coast Guard that one of the men “freaked out” and took off his life vest and disappeared that night.

Another one of the men started getting unruly and throwing punches later. Schuyler told the Coast Guard the second man also took off his life jacket, dove under the water and was never seen again. The third man thought he saw land nearly two days after the boat capsized and decided to swim for it.

Schuyler told the Coast Guard that man said his life jacket was too tight and he took it off.

Officials have said that they eventually found three life jackets; one on Schuyler; another near the boat and a third underneath it. The bodies of the three who disappeared have not been found.

It’s unclear how accurate the account is. Schuyler, who was found clinging to the overturned boat about 35 miles off Clearwater and nearly 48 hours after the accident, was suffering from hypothermia and he has provided different accounts to the men’s relatives. The family of William Bleakley, for example, said Schuyler told them that their son held on to the boat with his college teammate until he weakened and died. Schuyler has also said that Bleakley helped him survive, talking to him and encouraging him during their last night together.

Marquis Cooper’s father has questioned Schuyler’s account that his son removed his life jacket. Schuyler has not responded to interview requests.......................................... ......

HoustonFrog
03-27-2009, 02:06 PM
Just wanted to finish this off with the REAL investigation report...even sadder how they each died off..especially with the problem that caused them to be stuck. I mean cut the anchor and get put of there. Sad that 3 died over something so preventable.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/missing_boaters_nfl

TAMPA, Fla. – An agency investigating a deadly boating accident involving two NFL players and their friends in the Gulf of Mexico has concluded it was a caused when the vessel was improperly anchored and the boat capsized after one of them tried to throttle forward to pry loose the anchor....................................



..........Around 5:30 p.m., they went to pull up the anchor and head back to port, but the anchor was stuck. Bleakley suggested they tie it to the transom and use the boat's motor to pull it loose.

When Cooper tried to thrust the boat forward, the vessel became submerged and capsized, tossing the men overboard. They tried to upright the boat without success. Bleakley swam underneath and was able to retrieve three life vests, a large cooler and a makeshift flotation device.

Bleakley, who Schuyler has credited with saving his life, used the makeshift flotation device, which has been described previously as a cushion. The other three wore the vests.

The men appear to have tried everything in their power to rescue themselves: Schuyler told the agency they tried retrieving and using flares without success. They also tried getting their cell phones, which were in plastic baggies.

They knew how many hours were passing because Schuyler had a watch with a light on and was able to keep track of the time. He said that around 5:30 a.m. the next day, Cooper became unresponsive. Schuyler and Bleakley tried to revive him without success.

Cooper's flotation device was removed and Bleakley put it on. The Oakland Raiders linebacker then became separated from the boat.

About an hour later, Smith started show "possible extreme symptoms of hypothermia." He removed his flotation device and also became separated from the boat.

The two college teammates were the only ones left. They hung on together for about 24 hours, until Bleakley grew weak and removed his life vest as well.

Schuyler said that his friend appeared to die as he was holding onto him. He let his friend go and Bleakley drifted away.

Hardcore Texan
03-27-2009, 03:40 PM
That's horrible....I can't even imagine what those men went through.

TEXANS84
03-27-2009, 03:55 PM
Wow, so sad.