Search Over: 3 Men Lost


UPDATE:  at the bottom is an update on details of the tragedy.

The slim ray of hope that was announced shortly after the Coast Guard rescued Nick Schuyler that Marquis Cooper was also found alive proved slimmer.  No such rescue had been made and now, 3 days after the 4 men went missing during a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard has stopped searching.

Last night, Tuesday, around 6:15 the search was officially called off.  It now appears that Cooper, along with fellow NFL player Corey Smith and former collegiate player William Bleakley will be lost forever at sea.  Information on the events have been sketchy at best, mostly provided by the lone survivor.

Schuyler has stated that the boat capsized while anchored about 35 miles off the coast of Tampa, Florida.  According to his account a sudden storm caught the men off guard and tossed the boat over sometime Saturday evening.  Schuyler also says that one of the 3 men is a hero.

The men apparently were not wearing life preservers when the boat capsized throwing all four into the cool coastal waters.  Schuyler said that Bleakley swam under the boat to retrieve the life jackets for the 4 men.  Schuyler calls Bleakley a hero for his actions.

Yesterday afternoon some of the details of the events were brought to the media by Schuyler.  While the group of 4 clinged to the upturned vessel, it was Cooper and Smith who drifted away first, reportedly around 2 AM on Saturday morning.  At one point, according to Nick, a search and rescue helicopter hovered over them with a search light but apparently didn’t see the men or the boat.

No information was available as to why the men drifted away from the boat or why the men were not on the boat the way Nick was found.  In reality, it doesn’t appear to matter much anymore.  The NFL has lost 2 players and more importantly the families of 3 men will forever be changed and the life of one man will never be the same.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all of them, to Nick Schuyler, and of course the men who now seem to have perished in the Gulf.

UPDATE:  I chose to put this down here as opposed to the top so you could choose weather to read it.  News broke yesterday that according to Schuyler who is recovering has said that one of the NFL’ers gave up hope, took off his life jacket and allowed himself to drift off in the swells.  A few hours later, the other NFL’er did the same.  William Beakley held on until he thought he saw a rescue boat and decided to swim for it.

Tags: 2 NFL Players Lost At Sea 3 Men Lost In Gulf Coast Guard Rescue Search Corey Smith Marquise Cooper NFL Nick Schuyler William Bleakley

  • John Smith

    I believe this article lacks sensitivity and should think about how they word lines like, “It now appears that Cooper, along with fellow NFL player Corey Smith and former collegiate player William Bleakley will be lost forever at sea.”

    “In reality, it doesn’t appear to matter much anymore.  The NFL has lost 2 players and more importantly the families of 3 men will forever be changed and the life of one man will never be the same.”

    Overall it’s a disturbing article.

  • http://phinphanatic.com Brian Miller

    Sensitive?  I thought this was more sensitive than 90 percent of the articles I have read on the subject.  How is saying “lost at sea” is insensitive?  What should I have said?  They were indeed lost at sea.

    Sorry you don’t feel like this wasn’t sensitive enough.  The fact is that I did say the most important thing out of all of this is that 3 men’s families will forever be changed along with the life of another.  This is a very sad ending to what was hope yesterday.
  • http://www.sheddawgs.com shed dawg mike

    Brian,

    I thought you showed a great deal of sensitivety and empathy.  Its a tragic and downright awful event but you covered it as good or better than any other publication. 

    You are totally right in saying the most important part was the men and their families.  I don’t know how you could have written it any better.

    Nice job on a terrible topic.

  • http://phinphanatic.com Brian Miller

    Thanks Mike.  I tried not to cover too much of it over the last few days because it’s such a harsh story and there was no way to know what was really going on.  I bit on the Cooper rumor and should have known better.  As a paramedic, the worst thing in the world is false hope and I really feel for whomever told that family he was o.k.