UPDATE: Nick Schuyler (above on stretcher) has been rescued and taken to Tampa Bay General Hospital.
He was clinging to the overturned boat, and was pulled up via basket to a rescue chopper. He was talking, and apparently told rescuers that the other 3 men had life-vests on when the boat capsized. Nick is in good condition, which is great news. Nick told rescuers that all 4 of the men were still together around 2am this morning. For some reason, they got separated. The coast guard is frantically searching for the other 3 men right now, and a C-130 has joined the cutter and helicopters in the search.
NFL stars Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith have been missing since when they went for a trip on Marquis’ boat on Saturday. The coast guard has now been searching for 2 days off of the West coast of Florida. They have just located an overturned boat 30 miles off of the coast, with a survivor clinging to the side…believed to be friend Nick Schuyler. No official confirmation has been given yet, and rescuers are on the scene and looking for survivors. It is hoped that the other three men are in life jackets near the boat.
Marquis, Corey , Schuyler and Will Bleakley have been missing off of the Florida Gulf coast after leaving Clearwater Florida in Cooper’s 21 foot boat. Family members recently alerted Coast Guard officials at about 1:30AM Sunday that four men left a Clearwater boat ramp Saturday morning for a day of fishing. Will Bleakley, 25, and Nick Schuyler, 24, were both former football player at the University of South Florida.
According to coast Guard officials the Coast Guard did not receive any distress signals from Cooper’s boat. “We had a 47-foot vessel searching earlier today, and we had to pull it in because it was too rough,” stated Coast Guard petty officer Sondra-Kay Kneen on Sunday.
Cooper’s Chevy Silverado was left unattended at a Clearwater boat on Sunday with a note that stated “Please contact the Coast Guard. Someone was worried about your welfare.” There was also a one-day parking permit in view on the dashboard of Cooper’s vehicle.
Both the Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders have released similar statements:
“First and foremost, however, is that our thoughts and prayers are with all the passengers, their families and all those involved in the search efforts,” stated Lions spokesman Bill Keenist.
“It’s really upsetting when you know both guys really well. I think about a guy like Marquis being a family man (he has a wife and one child). You have connections with the guys. It’s hard.” stated Former Tampa Bay linebacker Ryan Nece.
“You can be in bad shape pretty quick out there,” stated Cory Holmes, a local fishing expert and manager of Ultimate Fishing Center in St. Petersburg. “It can be dead calm in the morning and blow 30 mph in the afternoon.” A large storm blew into the area during the time the men were out on the boat.
Snarkfood will update this story as soon as news becomes available.