Anchor Problems Capsized NFL Players' Boat

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2009 1:04 PM CDT
Will Bleakley.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The fishing boat that capsized earlier this month leaving three football players presumed dead was improperly anchored, the AP reports. After interviewing the lone survivor, a Florida agency has determined that when the passengers attempted to free the anchor by gunning the boat’s motor, the craft was swamped and the men thrown into the water. Inexperience, carelessness, and an approaching storm were also cited.

The survivor, Nick Schuyler, said that after a night on the water, Marquis Cooper, the Oakland Raiders linebacker who owned the boat, was first to succumb; the others removed his life jacket so another man could wear it. Soon after, Corey Smith removed his own and floated away. 24 hours later, William Bleakley, whom Schuyler credits with saving his life, died in his arms. The bodies have not been found.