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Hang In There!

Some revealing information being reported today on the recent off-shore boating tragedy (from St. Petersburg Times originally and FOXNews.com). The difficulty is, we cannot verify the facts, but it makes for a plausible explanation and is entirely consistent with reports of others acting in the same manner in similar survival situations, so worthy a discussion for the lessons learned, even if just considering it as one possibility:

As the Coast Guard ended its search for three missing football players whose boat tipped over in high Florida seas, the lone survivor said two of those lost gave up after hours in the frigid water and the third tried to swim to safety.

South Florida player Nick Schuyler told investigators that all four of the friends on a fishing excursion were initially wearing life vests and clinging to the 21-foot boat belonging to Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper.

But two to four hours after the boat capsized, one of the NFL players removed his life jacket and let himself be swept out to sea, the St. Petersburg Times reported. A few hours later, the other one followed suit.

“We were told that Nick said the two NFL players took their life jackets off and drifted out to sea,” said Bob Bleakley, whose son Will Bleakley, 25, is also still missing.

After Cooper, 26, and Corey Smith, 29, were carried away, Bleakley and Schuyler hung on until morning — but then Bleakley decided to swim to get help when he thought he saw a distant light, the paper said.

He, too, took his life vest off, 24-year-old Schuyler told the families.

“I think he was delusional to think he could swim someplace,” the Times quoted Bob Bleakley as saying.

Original story: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/article980972.ece
Follow-up with some additional information: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,504464,00.html

This once again highlights the importance of the critical positive mental attitude (PMA) that I talk about in all my survival presentations. One critical key to survival is to NEVER GIVE UP. The other is Preparation, which goes a long way towards providing that PMA and ensuring you don’t ever reach the point where you are tempted to give up.

The popular dictum, “hang in there,” was never more appropriate than in a survival situation.