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Private search on for missing NFL players in Gulf of Mexico

This comes after the Coast Guard called off their search. From AP-

Family and friends refused to give up the search for two NFL players and a third man missing four days in the Gulf of Mexico, enlisting private boats and planes to comb the waters off the Florida coast.

The Coast Guard called off the official search Tuesday for Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, free-agent NFL defensive lineman Corey Smith, who played for the Detroit Lions last season, and former South Florida player William Bleakley. The friends have been missing since their boat overturned Saturday in rough seas.

Authorities were done, but about a dozen charter boats motored out Wednesday, some with friends of the families aboard, to try to locate some signs of the men, according to dock workers at John's Pass near St. Petersburg. Three private planes also flew over the endless stretch of water, according to Cooper's father.

"Everyone around here, they've either known someone or heard of someone who's been lost out at sea," said David Scott, who works at a marina at John's Pass. "It's just one of those situations. Everyone really comes together in times like these."

A fourth man on the fishing trip, Bleakley's former South Florida teammate, Nick Schuyler, was rescued Monday after a Coast Guard cutter crew found him clinging to the hull 35 miles off Clearwater. His doctor said it's a "miracle" Schuyler survived in the 63-degree Gulf water for nearly two days.

It will be a miracle if the others are found alive. I understand the families don't want to give up hope, but exposure and hypothermia(I live over 200 Miles to the southeast of where the boat capsized. Temperatures were in the 40's just two days ago) have certainly taken the lives of all three of these men.

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