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Search Called Off For NFL Players In Boating Accident Off Florida Coast

Posted on March 10, 2009

A recent report has stated that on Tuesday, the Coast Guard stopped the official search for two NFL players and a third man missing for more than four days off the west coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. The men went on a fishing trip from Clearwater Pass when winds increased later in the day. Apparently, their boat overturned Saturday in forceful seas of 7-15 foot waves. A fourth man, former South Florida player, Nick Schuyler, was found holding on to the boat’s hull and rescued on Monday.

Schuyler’s doctor says it is a “miracle” that he survived the Florida coast boating accident after spending almost two days in 63-degree water.

Friends and family have gathered private boats and planes to search the waters off the Florida coast, refusing to give up the search for NFL players Marquis Cooper, Corey Smith and former South Florida player William Bleakley. Cooper’s 21-foot boat was found by authorities 50 miles west of Sarasota.

Tank Johnson, a childhood friend and college teammate of Cooper’s, has taken a lead role in the new search.
“I truly believe he is out there somewhere being strong,” Johnson said.

Our hearts go out to the missing men and their families during this extremely difficult time. We admire the strength of Schuyler’s brave survival and hope his recovery goes smoothly.

Although we never expect that anyone we know will be injured or even killed in an incident such as this one, boating accidents in Florida and throughout the nation cause nearly 3,500 injuries and 700 deaths each year. In this case, we hope along with Johnson, that if the men are not found alive, that their remains are recovered so that families can experience closure.

If you have any questions regarding boating accidents or Maritime and Admiralty Law, please contact the skilled Florida boating accident attorneys at Farah & Farah by calling 1-800-533-3555.