Friends, relatives of three missing men to organize private search

CNN: The Coast Guard ended its search Tuesday for two professional football players and a third man lost at sea, leaving the families to cope with unknown fates of the men and to organize a private search.

“There’s a lot of things we have to come to grips with — we’ve all agreed unanimously we won’t give up hope,” said Bruce Cooper, father of Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper.

Cooper, NFL free agent Corey Smith and former college football player William Bleakley are missing, with authorities believing a fishing boat carrying them and a fourth man overturned Saturday in the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard search was called off at sundown Tuesday, about 6:30 p.m.

The fourth man, Nick Schuyler, was found alive and sitting atop the overturned boat about 40 miles west of Egmont Key, Florida, on Monday afternoon.

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