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Thread: Fishing Boat Carrying NFL Players Reported Missing in Florida

  1. #16
    * Bat Votto Second * goreds2's Avatar
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    Re: Fishing Boat Carrying NFL Players Reported Missing in Florida

    Coast Guard search in Gulf of Mexico cost $1.6M


    The Coast Guard spent $1.6 million searching for four men, including two NFL players, lost in the Gulf of Mexico last month, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

    The newspaper, quoting figures provided by the Coast Guard, says the three-day search over more than 20,000 square miles of water required 230 combined hours of Coast Guard aircraft and boats.

    Rescuers found one of the men, Nick Schuyler, alive and clinging to a capsized fishing boat. His friends, Corey Smith of the Detroit Lions, Marquis Cooper of the Oakland Raiders and Will Bleakley have not been found and are presumed dead, the Times says.

    Coast Guard officials say the boaters were not carrying special emergency radio beacons to pinpoint their location, the newspaper says. Such devices, the officials say, can help narrow search efforts and lower the cost.

    The Times says the Coast Guard in the district logged 1,300 search-and-rescue missions in 2008.

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  3. #17
    Mr.Redlegs is my homeboy Eric_the_Red's Avatar
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    Re: Fishing Boat Carrying NFL Players Reported Missing in Florida

    Why is the cost even mentioned? I think for the family of Schuyler $1.6M is a bargain in exchange for getting him back alive.

  4. #18
    * Bat Votto Second * goreds2's Avatar
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    Re: Fishing Boat Carrying NFL Players Reported Missing in Florida

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_the_Red View Post
    Why is the cost even mentioned? I think for the family of Schuyler $1.6M is a bargain in exchange for getting him back alive.
    I thought the same thing but it did mention that if the boat had the device it would have course cut costs and probably saved their lives.

    These devices should be standard in any of these type boats as seat belts are in cars.
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    Re: Fishing Boat Carrying NFL Players Reported Missing in Florida

    Report: Improper Anchoring Caused Boat Accident
    Mar 27, 3:27 PM (ET) Email this Story

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

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's investigation also cited carelessness and operator inexperience as contributing factors. The combination of errors came at the time a storm front was moving in, making conditions on the water very rough.

    Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, free-agent NFL defensive lineman Corey Smith, and former University of South Florida players William Bleakley and Nick Schuyler departed from Clearwater Pass, Fla., early Feb. 28 to go offshore fishing for amberjack.

    Schuyler, found clinging to the boat two days later, was the lone survivor. The other three men have not been found.

    In an in-depth interview with the agency, Schuyler gave this account of the accident:


    Early that morning, the men went more than 50 miles offshore in Cooper's 21-foot vessel. It was loaded with two large coolers filled with ice, drinks, food and beer. All of the friends were dressed in warm clothes, sweat suits and jackets.

    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. All four tried uprighting the boat by standing on one side of the overturned vessel. When that didn't work, Bleakley swam underneath and was able to retrieve three life vests, a large cooler and a portable, cushion-type 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, but they were wet, agency Investigator Jim Manson said. They got their cell phones, which were in plastic baggies, but there was no signal.

    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 to 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.

    Manson said moving the anchor line to the stern, or back of the boat, contributed to the vessel's instability and flooding when they tried to free it. He described it as a mistake that probably happens every day, but one that a more experienced boater would be aware of and could handle.

    Cooper, the boat's owner, had more than 100 hours of boating experience but no formal education, and had been drinking, according to the report.

    "Overall, it's just a mistake in anchoring," Manson said.

    The Coast Guard released its records on the accident last week. According to the agency, Schuyler told them the boat capsized after their anchor got caught in a reef.

    The accuracy of that account was somewhat unclear because Schuyler was suffering from hypothermia and spoke to them shortly after he was pulled from the boat. His doctor said he probably could have only lived another five to 10 hours.

    The Coast Guard called off its search after three days of scouring 24,000 miles of ocean.

    Rem

  6. #20
    * Bat Votto Second * goreds2's Avatar
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    Re: Fishing Boat Carrying NFL Players Reported Missing in Florida

    Sad story.


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