AP/ Huffington Post | March 1, 2009 03:03 PM
***UPDATE 3/3 430PM*** ABC’s Phoenix affiliate reports that the Coast Guard is going to end at sunset the search for the two NFL players and a third man lost at sea:
Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard say they will call off their search at sunset for two NFL players and a third man lost at sea after their boat capsized over the weekend…
…That’s 60 hours after the search first began. Some amateur search efforts are expected to continue, Coast Guard officials said.
***UPDATE 3/3 10:46AM*** From AP:
Two NFL players and a third man missing since their boat capsized off the Florida coast face dwindling odds of survival after more than two days in the water, though their size and good health could help them fend off hypothermia, authorities said.
Coast Guard officials wouldn’t speculate on the men’s chances of being rescued alive as the search continued Tuesday morning. There was some hope, even though hypothermia can set in after 18 hours in 64-degree water. Water temperatures were in the mid- to upper-60s.
“With all of these men being past, present football players, they do have a much larger physique than a lot of people,” Petty Officer Robert Simpson said. “So their odds are going to be definitely in their favor.”
The lone survivor so far, Nick Schuyler, was conscious but appeared weak as he was loaded onto a stretcher Monday. His father, Stuart Schuyler, said the former University of South Florida player was bruised and dehydrated but “looks OK.” He said his son was in serious but stable condition.
Crews had narrowed their search Monday for Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, 26, who owned the 21-foot boat; free-agent defensive lineman Corey Smith, 29; and former South Florida player William Bleakley, 25. Cooper is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, and Smith is 6-foot-2, 250 pounds. Bleakley had played tight end.
Nick Schuyler told rescuers that the boat the four good friends were aboard was anchored when it flipped Saturday evening in rough seas, said Coast Guard Capt. Timothy M. Close. Schuyler, who was wearing a life vest, had been hanging onto the hull that a Coast Guard cutter discovered 35 miles off Clearwater.