It’s been a couple of weeks since Nick Schuyler was rescued by the Coast Guard after a boat he was on with three friends, including NFL players Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith, capsized while on a fishing trip. Schuyler was the lone survivor of the ordeal as both Cooper and Smith along with Will Bleakley were never found. It’s a tragic story, and one we’re finally starting to get a clearer picture of now that Schuyler’s recovering.
At first Schuyler told authorities that the two NFL players just gave up and let themselves drift away while Bleakley hung in for a few days before making a swim for it. According to a new 23-page report by the Coast Guard we now have a better idea of what really happened, and as it turns out, Schuyler’s original account wasn’t very far off although there are some new disturbing details.
According to the report the trouble started when the 21-foot boat’s anchor became stuck in what Schuyler believed to be some coral reef, causing it to start filling with water. Then as the men tried to free the anchor, the boat capsized and sent them into the 62-degree ocean.
From USA TODAY:
Schuyler told the Coast Guard that one of the men “freaked out” and took off his life vest and disappeared that night.
Another one of the men started getting unruly and throwing punches later. Schuyler told the Coast Guard the second man also took off his life jacket, dove under the water and was never seen again. The third man thought he saw land nearly two days after the boat capsized and decided to swim for it.
Schuyler told investigators that man said his life jacket was too tight and he took it off.
Officials have said that they eventually found three life jackets; one on Schuyler; another near the boat and a third underneath it. The bodies of the three who disappeared have not been found.
It should be said that there’s no way to know for sure how accurate Schuyler’s account of the story is, but for the most part these latest details seem to follow what Schuyler said when he was first rescued.