'There are no others' - FOX 13 News

'There are no others'


In 242 pages, Nick Schuyler's shares intimate details of his doomed 2009 fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico, the one leaving two NFL players and another man dead.

Schuyler was the sole survivor. He huddled atop the capsized boat and rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.

His book, "Not Without Hope," is chronological. It comes out next month.

It reads like fiction, but it is, unfortunately, a real-life tragedy. Beginning with the men launching from a boat ramp in Clearwater, Schuyler remembers nasty weather and rough seas.

"It felt like my brain was slapping against the top of my head," he writes. Despite nausea, the men continued 50 miles out. They caught dozens of fish and had a good time.

Later, when it was time to return, the men made a fatal decision. They could not wrestle the anchor free. Rather than just cutting it loose, they tied it to the stern and raced the engine.

As back propeller sped up, the back end of the boat dipped down. Water poured in and the boat quickly capsized.

Thrust into the cold, turbulent water, the boat's owner, Marquis Cooper, repeatedly apologized.

"He must have said it ten times," Schuyler wrote. " I think he felt it was his fault because he was the Captain. He was in charge. He held the responsibility."

Righting the boat proved impossible. They tried over and over, but were eventually resigned to simply hold onto it as long at they could.

They also tried to use a cell phone to dial 911. It was dry thank to a zip-top bag, but useless so far offshore.

As the men bobbed in the water and time slipped away, they prayed. In unison, they recited the Lord's Prayer at least three times, Schuyler said.

They also reflected.

"In the middle of the Gulf, with our boat overturned and the four of us getting about by waves in a a storm, our priorities seemed to straighten," he wrote.

"I went through the whole thing in my mind. Why is this happening to me? I wondered. Is this karma for things I've done bad in my life?"

Schuyler watched as Marquis Cooper, Corey Smith, and Will Bleakley died. "Four was down to one. It was just myself," he wrote.

"I kept thinking about Will floating away, an Marquis and Corey dying, and I kept asking, why? I didn't know why," he wrote. "I didn't have time to grieve, though. I thought I was next."

The men had left on Saturday. By Monday, Schuyler was fading.

"My heart rate was slow," he wrote. "I felt like my body was done, I couldn't go any longer."

But then he spotted a ship. He feared it was a mirage. A hallucination. Amazingly, it was ship, a Coast Guard cutter Tornado. It steamed toward him and sent a rescue swimmer to pull Schuyler from the capsized boat.

"The guy yelled, 'Stay right there, we'll come to you,' but I was thinking 'hell no, I'm not waiting."

Coast Guard planes and helicopters had passed him over several times, unable him in the roiling sea. So, Schuyler was not about to let this opportunity slip away.

"I pretended not to hear. I didn't care. I had been sitting on that boat so long, I was getting in the damn water," he wrote. "They would have had to hit me with a stun gun to keep me from going in. I was getting ready to swim to the big boat."

As he climbed aboard he repeatedly thanked this rescuers.

Then came the questions. The first seemed the most difficult.

"They asked me about the others," he wrote. 'They're gone,' I said. 'There are no others."

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