Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hope Dwindles in Search for NFL Players

The Coast Guard apparently has told the father of one of the two NFL players still missing at sea that hope for his rescue is dwindling because so much time has passed and the chilly waters are likely to have caused hypothermia.

But the sister of one of the players says that is not the message the rest of the family has been given. Maybe that is the truth. Maybe the families have been told something else to prevent them from panicking. And maybe the woman is simply putting on a brave face in public.

But, realistically, it is hard to imagine three men, separated from their boat many miles out at sea, could still be alive, even if they were wearing life jackets.

One of those life jackets apparently has been found, but no one — alive or dead — was wearing it.

Concerns about hypothermia stem from the fact that temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico have been in the mid- to upper 60s. Hypothermia can set in after 18 hours in water registering 64 degrees.

But, as CNNSI.com reports, "Working in the men's favor are their size and physical condition." Both of the NFL players are more than 6 feet tall and weigh more than 200 pounds. Their companion is a former college football player and a current physical trainer.

Even so, at this point, it's been more than 70 hours since the boat was reported overdue. How many of those hours may have been spent in the water, no one will know until the as–yet lone survivor is able to pinpoint more precisely the time when the boat capsized. What he has said, reportedly, is that the boat flipped when the anchor was being pulled up Saturday evening.

The man was found clinging to the boat about 35 miles from Clearwater yesterday.

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