2 Mar 2009

Search for two NFL players as boat goes missing off Florida coast

11:16 am on 2 March 2009

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching the Gulf of Mexico off Florida for a missing boat with two National Football League players on board.

The Detroit Lions Defensive end Corey Smith and Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper were confirmed missing by Smith's agent Ron Del Duca.

The other two men on board were identified as Nick Skyler and William Bleakley by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Smith and Cooper are friends who began their professional careers with theTampa Bay Buccaneers and Del Duca described both players as experienced sailors.

He said the men left on Cooper's boat for a fishing trip and apparently ran into a storm front.