The Coast Guard's search for Corey Smith, Marquis Cooper, and William Bleakley was called off yesterday evening, as the Coast Guard said that if there was anyone on the surface, they would have been found. At this point, it is presumed that the missing men will not ever be found. Although families and friends are still praying for a miracle, any hope there once was for a happy ending to this story is now gone.
The Lions released this statement about the sad news:
“Today’s news is a sobering reminder about how truly precious and fragile life can be. We will continue to pray for a miracle, though we fully understand and respect the decision of the Coast Guard.
“We were thrilled yesterday with the news of Nick’s rescue, and it gave all of us hope that Corey, Will and Marquis would also be found alive.
“While we still have that hope, we have begun to cope with the grim reality of this sad and tragic situation.
“We cannot adequately express our heartfelt appreciation to the Coast Guard and all the Florida authorities involved in the rescue mission. Their heroic efforts saved at least one life, and we know they did everything possible for Corey, Will and Marquis.
“We also want to thank everyone across the country for their expressions of support. We ask that you join us as we continue to pray for Corey, Will, Marquis and their families.”