Tuesday, March 03, 2009
The Coast Guard rescued one of the four men who went on a weekend fishing trip off the Florida Gulf Coast but failed to return as scheduled, while three others including two NFL players remained missing, according to media reports Tuesday. Nick Schuyler, a former University of South Florida football player, was discovered some 56 km off Clearwater, clinging to the hull of their capsized boat. He said that the boat was anchored when it flipped Saturday evening in rough seas and the others got separated from the boat and that he had been clinging to it since.
In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, shows Nick Schuyler clinging to the engine of an overturned boat in the Gulf of Mexico, as the U.S. Coast Guard approachesThe two missing NFL players were defensive end Corey Smith and linebacker Marquis Cooper. The third man was identified William Bleakley, a former South Florida player. The six-meter boat left from a boat ramp at Clearwater Pass and was reported missing when it failed to return as scheduled. "The weather was fine when they left, but a cold front came through," he said. "Wind and waves." Searchers had previously covered 16,000 square miles (41,600 square kilometers) of ocean but the area being searched was much smaller since they found Schuyler, Coast Guard Capt. Timothy Close said.