Coast Guard suspends search for NFL players


The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search Tuesday for two NFL players and another man whose boat capsized off Florida’s Gulf Coast over the week end.

“We’d like to send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to the families of the three missing men,” Coast Guard commander Timothy Close, said in a statement.

Still missing are Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, free-agent defensive lineman Corey Smith, and former South Florida player William Bleakley.

Earlier, Bruce Cooper, father of Marquis Cooper, said the Coast Guard’s hopes of finding survivors are fading.

“They aren’t too optimistic based on the time they were in the water,” he told the Daily News.

The three men went on a fishing trip last weekend together with Nick Schuyler, who was rescued Monday after a Coast Guard cutter crew spotted him from a half-mile away, clutching the boat’s hull.

Schuyler, former college football player, is in serious but stable condition after surviving more than 36 hours at sea.

[Image via New York Daily News]