Father: Coast Guard losing hope of finding players

By: By CHRISTINE ARMARIO, Associated Press Writer
By: By CHRISTINE ARMARIO, Associated Press Writer

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - The father of an NFL player among three men lost at sea says the Coast Guard's hopes are waning of finding survivors off the Florida Gulf Coast.

Bruce Cooper says he still has hope. But the Coast Guard told families privately that officials weren't optimistic because of the timeframe and possibility of hypothermia.

Cooper's son is Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper. The search for him, free-agent lineman Corey Smith and former college player William Bleakley entered its third day Tuesday.

The Coast Guard wouldn't publicly say whether they thought the men were still alive.

But officials did say the search was aided by information from Nick Schuyler, who was rescued Monday clutching the boat's hull. Schuyler says the men put on life vests after the boat overturned Saturday.

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