Monday, March 02, 2009

Former Steeler Missing ~ Updates

Update #4: 3/2/09 12:00PM (PST)
The Coast Guard has released photographs of the rescue of Nick Schuyler. Here is one:

Update #3: 3/2/09 11:00AM (PST)
The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that one of the four missing men has been found alive, and is now at Tampa General Hospital.

Update #2: 3/1/09 5:30PM (PST)
Bay9 News in Tampa is reporting that the missing boat was owned by Marquis Cooper, not Corey Smith as was previously reported by the Associated Press, and "was about 50 miles out in the Gulf [of Mexico]." There is no indication in the Bay 9 report as to the source of that information.

Their report goes on to say that inclement weather is hindering the search.

Update #1: 3/1/09 3:00PM (PST)
The Coast Guard's District Seven is responsible for this rescue mission and have released a statement regarding the mission which reads in part:
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., received a call at about 1: 30 a.m., Sunday, reporting that four friends, Victor "Marquis" Cooper, Nick Skyler, Corey Smith and William Bleakley did not return from their fishing trip as expected. The four boaters left at about 6:30 a.m., Saturday, from the Seminole Boat Ramp in Clearwater Pass, in a 21-foot center console boat.

A Coast Guard 47-foot motor-life boat crew from Station Sand Key, Fla., HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and C-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, and the Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile are searching a 750-square mile area west of Clearwater Pass for the missing boaters. An Urgent Mariner Information Broadcast (UMIB) is also being transmitted on marine VHF radio channel 16.

If anyone has any information regarding this case they are asked to call Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg at or by marine VHF radio channel 16.

Here is a look at the area from which the four men departed:

View Larger Map

Original Post
Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Marquis Cooper, who may be best remembered in Pittsburgh for wearing jersey number 55 following the departure of Joey Porter in 2007, is reportedly missing at sea.

A report from the Associated Press indicates that Mr. Cooper and Corey Smith, a defensive end with the Detroit Lions, left Saturday morning aboard Mr. Smith's 21-foot boat on a fishing trip. The two were expected to return the same day but did not, and have not been heard from.

According to the same report the Coast Guard is searching a 750 square mile area for the two.

During two separate stints in Pittsburgh Mr. Cooper played in five games. Last season he played in eight games for the Oakland Raiders.