Survivor Says NFL Players Let Selves Drift Away

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2009 8:01 PM CST
Marquis Cooper, in a 2007 file photo provided by the NFL.   (AP Photo/NFL, File)
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(Newser) – The apparent lone survivor of the boat accident that has left three football players missing gave investigators a harrowing version of his ordeal, the St. Petersburg Times reports. Nick Schuyler says the two NFL players with him gave up hope within hours of each other, stripped off their life jackets, and drifted off to sea. The third man, a former college player, swam away from the overturned boat two days later to get help when he thought he saw a light.

"I think he was delusional to think he could swim someplace," said Bob Bleakley of his son Will, who remains missing. Schuyler also told investigators that Bleakley swam under the boat several times shortly after it overturned to retrieve life vests and bottles of water for the four men. "He was my hero," said the elder Bleakley upon hearing the story.