The Coast Guard has called off its search for three football players who went missing in the Gulf of Mexico last weekend.
The missing boaters have been identified as Marquis Cooper (right) of the Oakland Raiders and free agent Corey Smith (left). Former University of South Florida football player William Bleakley is also missing.
According to The Washington Post, authorities gave up their search for the men at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
"We’re extremely confident that if there are any survivors on the surface of the water that we would have found them," Coast Guard Captain Timothy Close said during a press conference Tuesday.
Their search only turned up one survivor, Nick Schuyler, who was found clinging to Marquis’ overturned boat early Monday afternoon. He said the 21-foot boat was anchored when rough waters flipped it Saturday evening.
The families of the missing are not giving up so easily. The Associated Press reports that they’re urging private boaters and pilots to keep looking for their sons. Some of them have even chartered boats to continue their own searches.
– Sonya Eskridge