CLEARWATER, Fla. – Family and friends gathered Saturday to remember a former University of South Florida football player who disappeared at sea on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico last week.
The memorial service for William Bleakley was held at the Crystal River United Methodist Church.
Bleakley was onboard a 21-foot boat last Saturday with NFL players Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith and college teammate Nick Schuyler when the vessel capsized in rough seas.
Only Schuyler was rescued alive.
According to Bleakley's family, Schuyler credited their son with helping him survive, saying Bleakley went under the boat to get life vests and supplies.
Schuyler has been hospitalized in good condition at Tampa General Hospital.
On Friday, Cooper's family said they decided to discontinue their search for the missing friends.
The Coast Guard called off its search on Tuesday, but the Cooper family had remained optimistic, enlisting private pilots and charter boats to continue the search.