Monday, March 02, 2009

Missing at sea

We hope and pray for the best outcome from Coast Guard's search and rescue of this widely reported case. Perhaps this long headline from the Los Angeles Times tells the whole story so far: "NFL players Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper among four fishermen missing at sea." Not much details beyond what was reported by Pete Thomas:

A search continues for four missing boaters--among them National Football League players Corey Smith (pictured, at left) and Marquis Cooper--about 50 miles west of Clearwater, Fla., in the Gulf of Mexico.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said in an interview late Sunday night that the search had not yet turned up the fishing boat or its crew, and that any updates would be reported online.

As reported earlier in the Los Angeles Times, the four anglers aboard were Cooper, a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders; Smith, a defensive end who last played for the Detroit Lions; Nick Skyler and William Bleakley.

They failed to return from a trip that began Saturday morning from the Seminole Boat Ramp in Clearwater Pass, in a 21-foot boat. Seas grew increasingly rough Sunday, hampering the search effort.

The Coast Guard was alerted of their missing by family members at 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The earlier LA Times article reported the weather condition as:
According to the National Weather Service in Tampa, seas were about two to four feet Saturday morning and increased to three to five feet in the afternoon. A small-craft advisory was issued late Saturday night, and Sunday seas reached eight to 12 feet. Winds were gusting up to 30 knots.
May be because they were just missing, no one knows just what had happened. So far no one is blaming it on freaque waves yet. But a 21 ft boat at approximately 50 miles offshore can be very much susceptible to waves, let alone a freaque one.

Again, let's hope and pray for the successful rescue by the Coast Guard.

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