Airmen Aided Search for NFL Players

Among the forces participating in the search for four missing boaters, including NFL players Victor Cooper and Corey Smith, off the coast of Tampa Bay, Fla., was Air Force Reserve Command’s 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick AFB, Fla. The 920th RQW on March 1 dispatched an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter around 5 p.m., with its airmen utilizing night vision goggles to scan the choppy water over some six hours. According to a Coast Guard release, an Air Force C-130 from Moody AFB, Ga., also participated in the search, which the Coast Guard finally suspended on March 3 after a three-day search spanning some 24,000 square miles. The search had revealed only Nick Schuyler, who was found clinging to the group’s overturned 21-foot boat. Cooper, Smith, and the other missing boater, William Bleakley, were not found. (AFRC report by Capt. Cathleen Snow)