NFL Boaters 'Freaked Out' in Just Hours: Final Report

Survivor told Coast Guard companions 'freaked out,' threw punches
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2009 3:24 AM CDT
One-time Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Marquis Cooper signs autographs between practice sessions during football training camp. Cooper was lost at sea earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Brian Myrick,file)
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(Newser) – Two NFL players may have died only hours after the boat they and two friends were on capsized, according to a Coast Guard report released to the AP. Sole survivor David Schuyler told the Coast Guard that one man "freaked out," took off his life vest, and disappeared after clinging to the boat for hours, while another later became unruly, threw punches, and took off his jacket before vanishing.

Schuyler—who told investigators that the boat first got into trouble when an anchor snagged—said a third man took off his life jacket before attempting to swim to shore two days later. All of the identities were redacted in the report. Investigators found a discarded life jacket under the boat and another nearby. Some of the statements in the report differ from what Schuyler—who was near death from hypothermia when he was rescued—has told his companions' families.