Coast Guard to Halt Search for Missing Players

One day after a dazed and dehydrated man was found clinging to a capsized fishing boat 40 miles off Florida's Gulf coast, the Coast Guard called off a search for Nick Schuyler's three friends, two of whom played professional football.

After a three-day aerial search, rescuers announced that they would end their efforts to find the three remaining men.

After rescuing and interviewing Schuyler Monday afternoon, the Coast Guard had said it would refine its search for the other boaters Will Bleakley and NFL players Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper.

The Guard said today that searchers had retrieved a cooler and a life jacket they believed came from the overturned boat, but there was no sign of the men who were reported missing Sunday morning.

The Oakland Raiders, the team Cooper plays for, released a statement saying they were still hopeful that the men would be rescued.

VIDEO: Coast Guard ramps up search for three men missing at sea.Play

"We continue to hold out hope that Marquis Cooper, Will Bleakley and Corey Smith will be located and rescued," the statement said. "However, with the Coast Guard's decision to cease search and rescue efforts, we are faced with the reality that this mission may not turn out the way that we all desire."

Schuyler's rescue thrilled his family, but worried the families of the men who remain lost at sea and are now presumed dead.

"I went and saw him first and he told me, 'Mom, I kept saying you're not gonna go to my funeral,' and that's what kept him hanging on," said his mother, Marcia Schuyler.

The water temperature in the area is about 62 degrees, low enough to induce hypothermia after several hours, but Nick Schuyler did not have hypothermia.

VIDEO: search and rescue at seaPlay

"He looks OK, got a few cuts and bruises. He's dehydrated. His body temperature is not that far from norm," said his father, Stuart Schuyler.

Schuyler was deep-sea fishing Saturday morning with three other men -- Smith, Cooper and Will Bleakley, who played football for the University of South Florida with Schuyler -- when their 21-foot boat flipped in rough seas.

Coast Guard Capt. Timothy M. Close told "Good Morning America" today that Schuyler provided rescuers with helpful information.

"He was able to help us refine our search a little bit," Close said.

The families of the three missing men are still holding out hope they will be found.

Cooper's wife collapsed when she got the news that Schuyler had been rescued.

"I believe they are out there and they are waiting to be found," Rebekah Cooper said. "And if there is one thing that I am confident in is that he knows that people are looking for him."

Massive Search Continues

Schuyler was transported to Tampa General Hospital Monday after he was found. Television pictures from outside the hospital showed him conscious, sitting up and talking as he was pushed on a gurney wearing a Coast Guard jumpsuit.

Schuyler told rescuers that the 21-foot boat, owned by Cooper, was anchored when it flipped Saturday evening in rough seas. Schuyler told rescuers that the others got separated from the boat and that he had been clinging to it since.

Schuyler, along with Cooper, an Oakland Raiders linebacker; Smith, a Detroit Lions defensive end; and Bleakley, were reported missing by one of the men's relatives early Sunday morning.

Four airplanes, two helicopters and three Coast Guard boats continued to search the area for the missing men Monday afternoon. Some of the aircraft are employing heat-seeking radar devices to find the missing men.

The Coast Guard's Close said that because Schuyler was the only passenger found with the boat, rescuers would tailor their search to stop looking for the vessel and begin looking for individuals.

Rough Seas Continue

Close said Monday he was "not going to speculate on any survivability at this point."

Schuyler, he said, was first noticed by a spotter aboard the Coast Guard vessel Tornado, which then called for a helicopter to rescue the man.

The Coast Guard searched about 16,000 square miles west of Clearwater Pass but were hampered by rough seas and weather.

The men were aboard a 21-foot Everglades-manufactured boat, the Coast Guard said. The boats are built with compressed foam encased in Fiberglass, which makes them difficult to sink.

The men left the Seminole Boat Ramp in Clearwater Pass at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, according to the Coast Guard in St. Petersburg. They were expected to return that night but never did.

The Associated Press and ABC News' Scott Mayerowitz contributed to this report.