Coast Guard Calls Off Search For Missing NFL Players Marquis Cooper, Corey Smith & former South Florida player William Bleakley


God Bless the family and friend of Marquis Cooper, Corey Smith and William Bleakley as they keep hope alive. Sadly, the Coast Guard has called off the search for missing NFL players Marquis Cooper, Corey Smith and former South Florida William Bleakley. After searching for 3 days and combing over 24,000 miles of ocean, the Coast Guard search has been halted. On Monday, searchers found Nick Schuyler alive clinging to the capsized boat providing some hope that the other 3 fisherman would be found. However, the Coast Guard was only able to find a cooler and a life jacket 16 miles southeast of the boat.

Searchers spotted no signs of the men except for a cooler and a life jacket 16 miles southeast of the boat. Still, family members of Cooper – the son of Phoenix sportscaster Bruce Cooper – maintained hope at a Tuesday night prayer vigil in Mesa, Ariz., that he might turn up.

“Even if he goes on, he’s with the Lord,” said Cooper’s grandmother, Zelma Davis. “But we have hope we’re going to keep him.” Bleakley’s father said he thought Coast Guard rescuers did everything they could, adding he had lower expectations after only one survivor was found Monday. “I think they were not to be found,” Robert Bleakley said.

Coast Guard suspends search for NFL players, friend

Marquis Cooper, Corey Smith and William Bleakley have been missing since Saturday when they left for a fishing trip in their 21 foot boat off the Florida coast and never returned. Friends of missing players refuse to give up hope and the search …

The Coast Guard search has ended; however, friends of the missing boaters have started their own searches in an effort to find Marquis Cooper, Corey Smith and William Bleakley. Dallas Cowboy DT, a childhood friend and former college teammate of Marquis Cooper has asked for help to search for the missing three men.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Tank Johnson asked for the public’s help in continuing their own search.   “What we are asking for is experienced aviation pilots who are interested in helping us find the remains if not Marquis floating on the water and Corey and the other gentleman,” Johnson said. “Anything can happen, stranger things have happened and we still have faith,” he said. “If nothing else, get the remains back so we can have our family service and move on with closure in our life and that chapter. But these are people who we love dearly.”

Private search on for missing NFL players in Gulf

Authorities were done, but about a dozen charter boats motored out Wednesday, some with friends of the families aboard, to try to locate some signs of the men, according to dock workers at John’s Pass near St. Petersburg. Three private planes also flew over the endless stretch of water, according to Cooper’s father.

UPDATE I: Sole Survivor Nick Schuyler Tells Investigators that Two NFL Players Gave Up Hope.

The lone survivor said two of those lost gave up after hours in the frigid water and the third tried to swim to safety.

But two to four hours after the boat capsized, one of the NFL players removed his life jacket and let himself be swept out to sea, the St. Petersburg Times reported. A few hours later, the other one followed suit.

After Cooper, 26, and Corey Smith, 29, were carried away, Bleakley and Schuyler hung on until morning — but then Bleakley decided to swim to get help when he thought he saw a distant light, the paper said.

He, too, took his life vest off, 24-year-old Schuyler told the families.

“I think he was delusional to think he could swim someplace,” the Times quoted Bob Bleakley as saying.

UPDATE II: Private Search for Missing 3 Boaters Called Off

According to recent reports, the family of Marquis Cooper has decided to end the private search for Marquis Cooper and the two other missing boaters. According to accounts, the family received new information on the events of last Saturday and decided to discontinue the search for Marquis.

The private search for three missing boaters off the Gulf Coast of Florida reportedly has ended.

Private search efforts for two NFL players, Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith, and former University of South Florida football player Will Bleakley continued after the Coast Guard ended its search Tuesday evening. Coast Guard officials said they did not believe survivors remained in the water.


If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • NFL Players Corey Smith & Marquis Cooper Missing from Fishing Boat in Florida’s Gulf Coast – UPDATE *BOAT FOUND*
  • Coast Guard Calls Off Search for Missing 21 Year Old Tennessee Woman who fell off Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship ‘Allure of the Seas’
  • Coast Guard Search off the coast of Englewood, Florida for Missing Father and his Three Teenage Children (Update: One Body Found)
  • Two Missing and Two Rescued in Florida Small Plane Crash
  • Search Continues for Unidentified Family of Four, Including Two Children Missing at Sea West of Monterey Bay off the California Coast (Update: Hoax?)

  • Comments

    9 Responses to “Coast Guard Calls Off Search For Missing NFL Players Marquis Cooper, Corey Smith & former South Florida player William Bleakley”

    1. Blink34 on March 4th, 2009 11:47 am

      This broke my heart. The moral of this story is that even the ultimate physical specimens can succumb to Mother Nature and the elements.

      I have owned a boat that size and I can tell you from experience that boat should not have been 20 mi out at the maximum, and should have come in when the swells kicked in.

      I say this not to place any blame, this is an obvious tragic accident, I say this because I hope someone in a similar set of circumstances will learn from it.

      They are all in my prayers.


    2. Cinderella on March 4th, 2009 12:22 pm

      Truly distressing!

      Difficult to remove a wet lifevest in the choppy waves, but vests were prolly getting heavy – perhaps weighing the men down and creating more exhaustion.

      Boat was prolly slippery to hold to, but it seems like they might have tried to climb on top of it and wait for rescue.

      Who knows how cold, disorienting, exhausting, the whole nightmare might have been… Anticipation and dread of sharks, nightfall in the abyss…
      No one really knows what they would do until(Heaven forbid) they are faced with that situation.

      May they rest in His mercy and peace.

    3. HOPE on March 4th, 2009 1:02 pm

      I hope the families are successful in their search. If I had the money, I’d do the same thing. They could, still, be floating out there thinking the boat would go under.

      God Bless their efforts.

    4. Royalady on March 4th, 2009 1:49 pm

      This had touched me like its my family. I pray that God comfort the families in their time of loss and guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

      If they are not found, I belive they are with God and he has another assignment for them because they are all God’s children and were angels loaned to us for a period of time.

      Love your family, appreciated them and tell them you love them often because you never know when its the last time you will see them.

      May God be with you-Peace!

    5. misskatie on March 4th, 2009 3:59 pm

      could it be that they were drinking and lost any sense of the ability to judge that they were in harms way?

    6. misskatie on March 4th, 2009 4:02 pm

      please dont think that I am suggesting that its possible. doing the guy thingie. I am truly sad at their loss. I just hope they didnt suffer to much and yes may they be ever so present with the lord.

    7. Deenie on March 4th, 2009 6:59 pm

      I have been watching this on the News and it breaks my heart. I am from Detroit and I a friend who knows both these Men – Corey and Marquis. My Friend was a Detroit Lion and a MN Viking and I know – He Knows both of these Men and is Grieving himself today. I pray for their Families. This is a sad sad situation. Friends going out on a Day trip and finding themselves in mayhem. These Men are Hard Bodied and Have little Body Fat – even with life saving jackets. That was my first thought when I heard this on the news. I was scared from the first time I heard this on the news. Human Beings that are Fit and Strong and yet are at the mercy of their own Bodies in Water in these conditions. Truly they are. I am Deeply touched and feel the pain of loss – just for the loss – its unspeakable – Of Young Men in their Prime of life with everything going for them positive. I again Pray for their Surviving Family Members.
      This is again a horrible travesty and My prayers are sent.

    8. misskatie on March 4th, 2009 8:40 pm

      OH Deenie
      this is heartbreaking news !! but to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord.. thats my comfort !!
      they are no longer cold and suffering. theres not much hope they are still with us.. God bless all their families..

    9. HOPE on March 5th, 2009 5:04 pm

      There is always hope… at least, for me. Because no matter what, those that believe in him shall have life. We will meet again. The wonders of our Lord were a sight to see! Jesus was a preview for the grand blessings He has in store for us. Our loving creator.

      Bless the families and friends and all that knew them with hope and faith and wisdom, for it is through these things that we come to know You. Through Christ we Pray.


    Leave a Reply

    Support Scared Monkeys! make a donation.

    • NEWS (breaking news alerts or news tips)
    • Red (comments)
    • Dugga (technical issues)
    • Dana (radio show comments)
    • Klaasend (blog and forum issues)
    E-mail It