The lone survivor of a deadly boating accident says two NFL players may have died within hours of their boat capsizing. The information comes from a 23 page coast guard report which was released on Monday. In the report, Nick Schuyler describes to investigators what happened on February 28 and the days that followed.
The report was redacted so Schuyler's name was the only one on it. Schuyler was with his friends William Bleakley and NFL players Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith. The four had gone out on a fishing trip in Cooper's 21 foot long boat in the Gulf of Mexico, near the coast of Florida. Schuyler told the coast guard that at around 5:30 p.m., the anchor got stuck on a coral reef. When the men tried to free it, the boat began filling with water and flipped.
Schuyler says the men all put on life jackets and clung to the boat in the frigid waters. Four hours into the ordeal, Schuyler says the men's will to survive appeared to weaken as hypothermia set in. He says one of the men began to quote "freak out." That man took off his life vest and disappeared into the night. A short time later, another man became unruly and started throwing punches. He also took off his life jacket and dove underwater, never to be seen again. Schuyler says nearly two days after the accident, the third man took off his life vest because it was too tight. He then claimed to have spotted land and swam off.
Schuyler was later found sitting on the capsized boat by rescuers. Earlier this month, Marquis Cooper's father Bruce told NBC that he had heard the men took off their life jackets. He said he couldn't believe his son would do something like that. "I guarantee you, just as sure as you are born, I raised the kid, I lived with the kid, that is not his character, that is not his personality."