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REPORT: THREE NFL PLAYERS ON MISSING BOAT

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by CoronaDoug, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    REPORT: THREE NFL PLAYERS ON MISSING BOAT
    Posted by Mike Florio on March 1, 2009, 11:50 a.m.
    From ABC comes a scary story out of Florida. Three NFL players are on a fishing boat that is missing off the Gulf Coast in Clearwater.

    One reportedly plays for the Lions, and another plays for the Raiders.

    A 21-foot boat with four passengers left from Clearwater Pass at 6:30 a.m. EST on Saturday. It was due to return after dark but never arrived.

    A friend called the Coast Guard at 1:30 a.m. EST on Sunday and reported the boat missing.

    Per the report, officials say that the Gulf waters are extremely choppy and that it’s believed the boat is in distress.

    More to come.
     
  2. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Oh no :( I hope they're all ok! I hate the Raiders but not that much...
     
  3. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    I do not think I could of said it any better, I hope they are all right!
     
  4. BoltFanDC

    BoltFanDC Mufflers Are Overrated

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    :icon_sad:

    Thoughts and prayers for all involved...I don't care WHO they play for.
     
  5. fan4ever

    fan4ever BoltTalker

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    ditto
     
  6. TBF

    TBF BoltTalker

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    Possible Players Noted

    Reports: Coast Guard searching for missing boat
    by FOXSports.com

    The Coast Guard is searching for a missing fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico near Clearwater, Florida that may have NFL players aboard, according to multiple television reports.

    Coast Guard officials told ABC Action News of Tampa a 21-foot fishing boat left from a boat ramp in Clearwater Pass Saturday morning around 6:30 a.m. with four people aboard. The boaters were expected to return sometime after dark, but never did. A friend called the Coast Guard around 1:30 a.m. and reported the boat missing.

    A dispatcher told the ABC affiliate that three of the four boaters were NFL players, one of whom plays for the Detroit Lions and another who plays for the Oakland Raiders.

    Bay News 9 later cited an official who said Victor "Marquis" Cooper, Nick Skyler, Corey Smith and a possible fourth person did not return.

    Cooper is a five-year NFL veteran who finished the 2008 season as a member of the Oakland Raiders. Smith has played for the Detroit Lions for the last three seasons. Both played for Tampa Bay during the 2004 season.

    According to both reports, the Coast Guard is searching an 750-square mile area west of Clearwater Pass, but is being hampered by rain and wind moving through the area.
     
  7. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Sunday, March 01, 2009
    Fox News

    The Coast Guard is searching the waters off the west coast of Florida for a missing fishing boat with two NFL players on board, officials said.

    A friend reported Oakland Raiders linebacker Victor "Marquis" Cooper, Detroit Lion defensive end Corey Smith and Nick Skyler missing at about 1:30 a.m. A fourth, unidentified person was also on the boat.

    The boat departed from the Seminole Boat Ramp in Clearwater Pass early Saturday morning and was supposed to return sometimes after dark, but never did.

    A Coast Guard 47-foot motor-life boat crew from Station Sand Key, Fla., HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and C-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, and the Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile are searching a 750-square mile area west of Clearwater Pass for the missing boaters.

    The Oakland Raiders signed veteran free agent Cooper, 26, on Nov. 5, 2008, according to his player's biography on the team's Web site. Cooper orginally entered the NFL as a third round draft choice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004.

    He played in 26 games for Tampa Bay from 2004-05, one game for Seattle in 2006 and four games for Jacksonville and Pittsburgh in 2007. He has played in a total of 31 league games and has recorded 29 solo tackles.

    The 29-year-old Smith is listed as an unrestricted free agent on the Lion's Web site. The Richnond, Va., native was a four-year letterman at North Carolina State and was signed by Tampa Bay in 2002.

    He has been with the Lions since 2006, after a two-year stint with the the San Francisco 49ers.
     
  8. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    I dont remember where I read it, it was Victor Cooper's Boat, as his truck and trailer are still at the boat ramp where they launched at.
     
  9. EsDee_in_RI

    EsDee_in_RI Well-Known Member

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    My prayers are out for them an their families...i hope they come back safe.:unsure:
     
  10. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d80f02838&template=without-video&confirm=true

    CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Coast Guard searched off Florida's Gulf Coast on Sunday for a fishing boat carrying NFL players Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper and two other men who were missing for nearly a day in choppy seas.

    Smith, a defensive end for the Detroit Lions, and Cooper, an Oakland Raiders linebacker, were on a 21-foot vessel that left Clearwater Pass for a fishing trip Saturday morning, but they didn't return as expected, the Coast Guard said Sunday. Crews used a helicopter and an 87-foot ship to search a 750-square mile area west of Clearwater Pass, but poor weather made the search difficult. Officials didn't receive a distress signal from the missing craft.

    Cooper owns the boat, and he and Smith have been on fishing trips before, said Ron Del Duca, Smith's agent. Cooper and Smith were teammates on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004. Two others were aboard: Will Bleakley and Nick Schuyler, both former University of South Florida players.

    Coast Guard Capt. Timothy M. Close said the weather early Saturday had been fair but worsened toward the evening as a front still battering the area moved in. The National Weather Service said seas were about 2 to 4 feet Saturday morning and increased to 3 to 5 feet in the afternoon. Late Saturday night, a small craft advisory was issued, when winds were around 20 knots and seas were up to 7 feet or more. There were no thunderstorms in the area.

    Close said the men were traveling in a boat manufactured by Everglades. At least one of the men was an experienced boater, and relatives provided the Coast Guard with GPS coordinates from previous fishing expeditions.

    Close said there was no communication with the men even before the weather started to pick up. They were expected home by early evening. No sign of them or the boat had been spotted by late Sunday afternoon. Relatives told the Coast Guard the men had lifejackets and flares onboard.

    Poor weather conditions could be dangerous for a boat the size of Cooper's.

    "A 21-foot boat is a relatively small vessel to be 50 miles off shore in bad weather conditions, certainly the current weather conditions," Close said.

    Close said there was no sign yet that the men sent a distress signal.

    "That's not to say they didn't send one out," he said. "We didn't receive anything."

    Danielle Mayes, owner of Jaxson's Bait House near the ramp where the men departed, said Saturday had been deceptively beautiful. The weather was warm, and boaters had packed the small parking lot overlooking seaside condominiums and light blue waters. Mayes said many of the boaters who returned Saturday evening, after the weather picked up, said they were surprised that the water had become so rough.

    The Coast Guard search was mainly by air and was hampered by the poor weather, Close said. He said there were 14-foot seas offshore and wind gusts of up to 30 mph. Water depth in the search area ranges from 20 to 50 feet. The Coast Guard originally sent a 47-foot ship to search for the men around 2 a.m Sunday. It returned to dock about eight hours later and was replaced by a larger ship, in part because of the weather.

    Smith, 29, had 30 tackles, including three sacks, and one interception in 12 games last season for the winless Lions. Smith, who is 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, also played for the San Francisco 49ers and played college ball at North Carolina State. He lives in Richmond, Va.

    Del Duca called Smith one of the "good guys" of the league and said he was planning to start visiting teams as a free agent this week. Del Duca said he has spoken with Smith's family and also is in touch with Coast Guard officials.

    "They've assured me that they're deploying all available resources to look for these guys and get them back," he said.

    Cooper, 26, has played five seasons with the Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers and Raiders. He appeared in 26 games with the Buccaneers in 2004 and 2005, recording 30 tackles. He has played sparingly since as he has bounced between teams, appearing in 13 games and recording 10 tackles.

    Cooper, who is 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, played college ball at Washington. His hometown is Mesa, Ariz., and his father, Bruce, is a prominent sportscaster for KPNX-TV in Phoenix.

    Cooper told The Seattle Times in 2002 that one reason he chose Washington was the abundant fishing.

    "I like fighting the fish," Cooper told the newspaper. "And just relaxing out there and being alone and being outside."

    Lions spokesman Bill Keenist and Raiders senior executive John Hererra said the teams are monitoring reports on the players.

    While the search continued, Cooper's pickup truck and boat trailer remained in the parking lot near the boat launch. On the dashboard was a one-day parking receipt that expired Sunday morning.

    "Please contact the Coast Guard," read a note left tucked underneath a windshield wiper. "Someone was worried about your welfare."
     
  11. BLITZED56

    BLITZED56 Well-Known Member

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    SOURCE: SEARCH CALLED OFF FOR MISSING BOAT

    Posted by Mike Florio on March 1, 2009, 10:58 p.m.

    A source with knowledge of the tragic situation that has unfolded over the past two days in Florida tells us that the authorities have called off the search for a 21-foot fishing boat carrying two NFL players.

    We’re told that the boat left from Seminole, not Clearwater, and followed the Intercoastal Waterway.

    A search for debris was conducted from Sand Key, which is south of Clearwater, all the way to Anclote in Pasco County.

    As it was explained to us, unless the men made it onto another vessel or managed to navigate 13-foot waves in that 21-foot boat, it’s not looking good.

    So at a time when we’re down in the dumps to cap a weekend of technical troubles, our measly challenges are in sharp perspective. Say a prayer for Raiders linebacker Marquise Cooper, Lions defensive end Corey Smith, Nick Skyler, and William Bleakley, and for each of their families.


    http://www.profootballtalk.com/category/rumor-mill/
     
  12. TBF

    TBF BoltTalker

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    Possible Update....

    NFL | Overturned boat found in Gulf of Mexico
    Mon, 02 Mar 2009 09:20:26 -0800

    Updating previous items, Chad Cookler, of WFTS-TV, reports the Coast Guard says search teams have found an overturned boat in the Gulf of Mexico. It is not known if the boat is the same one that's missing with Oakland Raiders LB Marquis Cooper, free-agent DL Corey Smith (Lions) and two former college players aboard. Officials are not releasing the location of the vessel and are not saying if anyone was seen with it.
     
  13. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    They found the boat! At least 1 survivor, no name yet on who that might be or if anyone else is on board - boat was discovered overturned.

    No link, just heard it as breaking news on the radio.

    Hopefully everyone is OK, but this is some good news after being MIA so long in stormy waters.
     
  14. TBF

    TBF BoltTalker

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    From PFT... http://www.profootballtalk.com/2009/03/02/coast-guard-finds-boat-with-person-clinging-to-it/

    COAST GUARD FINDS BOAT WITH PERSON CLINGING TO IT
    Posted by Mike Florio on March 2, 2009, 12:29 p.m. EST
    In the end, it might be a very good thing that the Coast Guard opted not to call off the search for the four men (and two NFL players) who went missing at sea in a 21-foot fishing boat.

    According to Bay News 9, the Coast Guard has found an overturned boat with a person clinging to it.

    Assuming that it was the same boat that was carrying Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, Lions defensive end Corey Smith, Nick Schuyler, and William Bleakely, it is a sliver of good news amid a tragedy, because it means that three of the men have been lost.

    Stay tuned for more.

    UPDATE: The person who has been found reportedly is Nick Schuyler.
     
  15. EsDee_in_RI

    EsDee_in_RI Well-Known Member

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    Person found clinging to boat off Florida, Coast Guard says

    Story Highlights
    NEW: One person found clinging to overturned boat, Coast Guards says
    Four boaters missing off Florida's western coast, officials say
    NFL's Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper among the missing
    Boat set out early Saturday; Coast Guard began search Sunday
    CLEARWATER, Florida (CNN) -- The Coast Guard has found an overturned boat with one person clinging to it in waters where authorities have been searching for four missing boaters, the Coast Guard said Monday.

    The missing boaters include two NFL players.

    The Coast Guard said it does not know whether the boat it found is the one it has been searching for, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer James Harless.

    The identity and condition of the person found with the boat was not known, Harless said.

    Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper and NFL free agent Corey Smith, who played for the Detroit Lions for the past three seasons, have not returned from a fishing trip Saturday in water off Clearwater, family members and colleagues said Sunday.

    The search, which began early Sunday, now involves three Coast Guardcutters, three C-130 Hercules airplanes and three helicopters combing 16,000 square miles of open water in the Gulf of Mexico, about 50 miles west of Clearwater Pass, according to a Coast Guard statement. The search area Sunday was just 750 square miles.

    The Air Force Reserve's 920th Rescue Wing, based at Florida's Tyndall Air Force Base, sent a C-130 airplane and a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter to join the effort Monday, the Air Force said.

    Rough seas and high winds that hampered the search Sunday continued Monday. The Coast Guard reported winds of 15 to 20 knots and waves up to 9 feet in the search area Monday.

    "It feels like my greatest fear coming true -- it doesn't feel real," Cooper's wife, Rebekah, told CNN affiliate WTSP in Tampa on Sunday afternoon. "I'm just waiting for a phone call." Watch relatives, friends express concern for missing boaters »

    Cooper said she became worried Saturday night when she didn't hear from her husband who, along with his friends, had left on the trip in the early morning hours. She called her husband's fishing buddy, Brian Miller, who contacted the Coast Guard with the coordinates of where the men planned to fish.

    "Usually I'm on the boat. It's a little difficult wondering if something would have been different if I had been there," Miller said. "Or who knows? They may be just sitting out there with a broken motor -- and that's what we're hoping for."

    He said it was clear something was wrong when Cooper didn't call Saturday night.

    "He should've been within range to use his cell phone, and he knows enough to shut it off when he goes out so the batteries are still there," he said.

    The four men -- Cooper, Smith and former University of South Florida football players Nick Schuyler and William Bleakley -- embarked in a 21-foot single-engine boat from the Seminole Boat Ramp about 6:30 a.m. Saturday, the Coast Guard said.

    "Yesterday the weather conditions were relatively good, but the weather picked up overnight," Coast Guard Capt. Tim Close told reporters Sunday afternoon. "It's a small vessel for the conditions that are out there right now."

    Rebekah Cooper said her husband was aware of Sunday's weather forecast and for that reason picked Saturday for the trip.

    "Fishing is his first love, it always has been," she said, adding, "I have a lot of faith in him out there."

    Cooper's father said he learned of the situation Sunday morning from Rebekah. His son "routinely stays out on the water 12-14 hours," Bruce Cooper, a sports anchor for CNN affiliate KPNX in Phoenix, Arizona, said in a written statement.

    Close said authorities had not received a distress signal from the boaters. He said Cooper owns the boat.

    Bruce Cooper called his son an "avid fisherman."

    "He goes deep-sea fishing any opportunity he gets," Cooper said in the statement. "Two years ago I went deep-sea fishing with him. I swore I would never do so again; I didn't like the fact that I couldn't see land. Needless to say I am very concerned. I am praying and hoping for the best."

    This particular boat, a center-console vessel manufactured by Everglades Boats, is billed as "unsinkable," Close added.

    The Detroit Lions released a statement acknowledging that Smith was among the missing men, adding, "Our thoughts and prayers are with all the passengers, their families and all those involved in the search efforts."

    Smith and Cooper were teammates with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for part of the 2004 season, when Cooper was a rookie, according to the NFL's Web site. Smith, who entered the league with Tampa Bay in 2002, went on to play for the Washington Redskins before moving to the Lions for the 2006 season. Cooper has played for six teams in his five-season career.

    Bleakley lettered from 2004 to 2006 as a tight end for USF, and Schuyler was a walk-on defensive end in 2006, but he never played in a game, according to a spokesman for the university's athletics department.

    Schuyler's father, Stu, told reporters that the four men knew each other from working out at a gym, and that his son had accompanied Cooper and Smith on a fishing trip last week that lasted 15 hours.

    The Coast Guard asked anyone with information on the boaters to contact its St. Petersburg, Florida, office at 727-824-7506.
     
  16. EsDee_in_RI

    EsDee_in_RI Well-Known Member

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    Nick Schuyler has been found!
     
  17. Fouts

    Fouts I heart Deano!

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    Brutal story, prayers to the famillies of these men. This is a nightmare, and reminds me to be cautious of weather when I am fishing offshore. Things can change in a moment. I'd like to hear the whole story from the survivor. Whether an EPIRB was activated or Coast Gaurd protocol was followed via CH 16.
     
  18. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    Once again my thoughts and prayers go out to evryone involved with this!

    Now my question is why they were so far out in a boat that small? I'm sorry I wouldnt go out that far with that many on board in a boat that small.
     
  19. When Lightning Strikes

    When Lightning Strikes Well-Known Member

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    Usually the Gulf of Mexico is very calm...
     
  20. TBF

    TBF BoltTalker

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    Cooper may be alive...

    http://www.profootballtalk.com/2009/03/02/report-marquis-cooper-found-alive/

    REPORT: MARQUIS COOPER FOUND ALIVE
    Posted by Mike Florio on March 2, 2009, 2:51 p.m. EST
    Monday is a day of miracles on the Gulf Coast — two have occurred, and there are two to go.

    After Nick Schulyer was found clinging to the overturned hull of the 21-foot fishing boat lost at sea on Saturday, there’s a report that Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper has been found alive.

    There’s still no work on Lions defensive end Corey Smith or William Bleakley.

    Schuyler reportedly is in serious condition at Tampa General Hospital. He told his mother that he survived by telling himself that she would not be attending his funeral.
     
  21. Fouts

    Fouts I heart Deano!

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    Depending on the make of the boat, it can be very capable for long range fishing. In my 18ft boat, I have done 110 nautical miles in a day RT to our local highspots. Sounds like the weather turned, and he thought he could make it, instead of calling in his GPS position to coast guard. (Mayday/SOS) Then again, I wasn't there, but if I got into 14ft seas, I'd think of my wife, and baby, call CG ASAP.

    This is a tragedy.

    Fouts

    Edit: from singonSD

    Schuyler, a former University of South Florida player, told rescuers that the 21-foot boat was anchored when it flipped Saturday evening in rough seas and that the others got separated from the boat,
     
  22. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    The reports that Cooper had been found seem to be incorrect. I guess some newspaper told his family he'd been found but the coast guard is saying they have not found anyone except for Schyler. :(
     
  23. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    It doesn't look good, only one person was rescued and I never heard of the dude before. What a tragedy, I pray they be found and also for the families. Very, very sad.
     
  24. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    You have taken your 18 footer 110 Miles off shore?
     
  25. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    this puts it all into perspective

    Bless the coast guard that Nick Schulyer got rescued, keep praying to the diety of your choice the others are found soon and alive as well

    this story sucks
     
  26. Carrie1219

    Carrie1219 Banned Banned

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    I would never go out in open waters without a life jacket. I'm assuming they all wore life jackets no matter how good of swimmers they were. Yet, I fear that I may read another story.

    I used to have an old BF who never wanted me to wear the jacket, saying the water was so calm, etc. I have way too much respect for the water to leave the life vest hanging in the boat.
     
  27. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    I hope they find the rest of them safely.
     
  28. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

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    I live in Tampa, and have taken a very similar course many times since moving here. Ive been 30 miles out on large party boats, up to 50 miles out on much smaller vessels, the problem is definitely the amount of time theyve been out, I don't see how anyone could last 20 hours with the water temp, and how cold it's been outside this past weekend. I've needed a jacket the last week.
     
  29. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Sad news... at 6:30PM ET they will be calling off the search. They basically said if there was something to be found on the surface of the water they would have expected to have found it by now.

    Miracles do happen, but it's not looking good. So so sad. :(
     
  30. Fouts

    Fouts I heart Deano!

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    That is roundtrip, 35-50 one way, then trolling all around, then back.

    There are very capable small boats, with Radar, GPS, EPIRB, Sonar, and there are uncapable small boats, like aluminum lake boats. Lots of fiberglass boats have foam in their hull, like the one these guys were on. That is why it was floating upsidedown, and did not sink.



    After reading the account of the survivor, I wonder why they anchored. That is a recipe for disaster in BIG swell.

    My heart goes out to the families, and the lost young men.

    Fouts
     

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