There is a breaking news report of a Lions player, and two other NFL players, missing off the Gulf Coast. Please keep the players, and their families in your prayers. Please post comments updating if you hear any more news!! [I'll be updatign as news comes in - last 12:19 pm]
Tom Kowalski indicated on the Mlive Lions Forum that the Lions are aware of the report and are attempting to contact all of their players to make sure they are okay, and to try to figure out who is missing, and what is going on.
Official Coast Guard Release:
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Coast Guard is searching for four missing boaters 50 miles west of Clearwater Pass, since about 2 a.m. Sunday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., received a call at about 1: 30 a.m., Sunday, reporting that three friends did not return from their fishing trip as expected. 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. The reporting source later updated the information and confirmed there are four people aboard the vessel.
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 CutterCrocodile are searching a 750-square mile area west of Clearwater Pass. 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 727-824-7506, or by marine VHF radio channel 16.
another dispatch from Clearwater FL:
CLEARWATER, FL -- The Coast Guard is searching for a missing fishing boat about 50 miles off-shore in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to Coast Guard officials, the 21-foot fishing boat left from a boat ramp in Clearwater Pass Saturday about 6:30 am with 4 people on board.
A dispatcher told ABC Action News 3 of them are NFL players. One of the plays for the Detroit Lions, and one plays for the Oakland Raiders, the dispatcher said.
The boaters were supposed to return sometime after dark but never did, officials said. A friend called the Coast Guard at about 1:30 am and reported them missing.
Officials say the waters in the gulf are extremely choppy and they believe the boat is in distress.
Air and marine crews from the Sand Key and Clearwater Coast Guard stations are searching a 750 square mile area west of Clearwater Pass.
Again, keep players and families in your prayers, and hopefully they are found okay.
12:19 pm - Boat is registered to Marquis Cooper of the Oakland Raiders, Per NFL on Sirius Satellite Radio.
12:25 - Tampa Tribune is saying Corey Smith, Nick Skyler, Victor Cooper, one other. That is not confirmed, no link at this point. However, I saw where the coast guard is reporting the players as Victor "Marquis" Cooper, Nick Skyler, Corey Smith.