Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Nick Schuyler Explains What Went Wrong

The lone survivor of the boating accident that took the lives of three football players gave his first news interview since being rescued from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in March.


In an lengthy interview on HBO's "Real Sports," Nick Schuyler recounted the whole ordeal of the fishing trip that ended with a capsized boat and three of his friends—William Bleakley, Oakland Raider Marquis Cooper and Detroit Lion Corey Smith—lost at sea.

One of the new details revealed was how they ended up in the water in the first place. It was not the rough seas, but a stubborn anchor that caused the boat to capsize. Cooper who owned the boat and had lost an anchor weeks earlier, tried to pry it lose by gunning the engines and pulling away, but the anchor held on to the bottom of the ocean and it tipped the boat over. All the men except for Schuyler were in shorts and t-shirts, and were eventually overcome by hypothermia.

Schuyler provides more details about the two full days spent in the water—how they saw rescue helicopters but could not signal to them and how all the men slowly deteriorated in the cold and the dark. In the most gut-wrenching moment, Schuyler recounts how he was holding on to Marquis Cooper's lifeless body, determined to bring him home for a proper burial, but had to let go in order to keep Smith from slipping away.

Incredibly, Schuyler is not undergoing therapy, even though the incident and the "survivor's guilt" has clearly taken a toll on him. The full interview will re-air on various HBO channels all week.

Lone survivor of Fla. boat accident discusses ordeal [Star-Press]
HBO: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel - Stories - Nick Schuyler's Story [HBO]