Coast Guard report: 2 NFL players in capsized boat may have removed life vests as hope faded By CHRISTINE ARMARIO , Associated Press TAMPA, Fla. - Two NFL players might have taken off their life vests after their hopes of being rescued at sea faded as they clung to their capsized boat, according to Coast Guard records on the eventual rescue of a sole survivor. Nick Schuyler told the Coast Guard that one by one, the other three men aboard the small boat in the Gulf of Mexico took off their life vests and eventually disappeared during the ordeal that began the evening of Feb. 28. The Coast Guard's account came in a 23-page report provided to The Associated Press Monday under a Freedom of Information Act request. The report, which redacts the men's names, says the group went roughly 70 miles — or 62 nautical miles — to fish for amberjack. Besides the 24-year-old Schuyler, also aboard the 21-foot Everglades boat were Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, free-agent NFL defensive lineman Corey Smith, who played for the Detroit Lions last season, and former University of South Florida player William Bleakley. The bodies of Cooper, Smith and Bleakley have not been recovered. Around 5:30 p.m., the report said the group ran into trouble: Their anchor was stuck. Schuyler told investigators that he believed it was caught in a coral reef and they tried to free it, but water filled the boat and it capsized. Tossed into the frigid water, the men managed to grab their life vests. Schuyler, also a former South Florida player, said they held on to the boat for four hours. But as the night wore on, their will to survive appears to have weakened and the effects of hypothermia were likely setting in. Schuyler told the Coast Guard that one of the men "freaked out" and took off his life vest and disappeared that night. Another started getting unruly, throwing punches and later 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. http://www.startribune.com/sports/vikings/41329147.html_______________________________________________________ Tragic ending, may these men rest in peace.