x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Hope for players missing at sea

A missing boater found clinging to an overturned boat was rescued on Monday off Florida's Gulf Coast, but the search continued for two NFL players and another man aboard who didn't return from a fishing trip.

A missing boater found clinging to an overturned boat was rescued on Monday off Florida's Gulf Coast, but the search continued for two NFL players and another man aboard who didn't return from a fishing trip. Survivor Nick Schuyler, a former University of South Florida player, told rescuers that the boat was anchored when it flipped on Saturday evening in rough seas and that the others got separated from the boat.

The boat belongs to Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, who along with free-agent defensive lineman Corey Smith and former South Florida player William Bleakley, remained missing. The Coast Guard would not speculate on the men's chances of survival, but Petty Officer Robert Simpson said their size and good health gave them hope. "With all of these men being past, present football players, they do have a much larger physique than a lot of people," he said. "So the odds are going to be definitely in their favour."

Life vests and flares were stored aboard the boat. * AP