Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

National media line up to talk to lone survivor of boating tragedy

TAMPA — As Nick Schuyler was wheeled into the hospital Monday, he could not have grasped the immensity of his story.

But others did.

Oprah. Larry King. Greta Van Susteren. Inside Edition. Fox News. ESPN. The Today Show. Good Morning America. Radio stations. Reporters from Seattle, Cleveland, Canada.

Everyone wants to talk to Nick Schuyler, the Miracle Man who clung to a boat in frigid water for 46 hours and lived to tell about it.

"Everybody wants his story," said John Dunn, who is handling the flood of media requests for Tampa General Hospital, where Schuyler is being treated. "And everybody's motivated by not wanting to see something on someone else's station."

The story has been among the most popular on, the Web site of the St. Petersburg Times, and for the Washington Post's Web site.

People — real people, not just the news media — want to know more from the one guy who was there. How could this happen? What were they thinking? What were they feeling? Why was he the only one still with the boat? How did he not freeze to death or lose his mind?

"I think you have an element of mystery, a story that has a lot of human appeal," ESPN's Jemele Hill said after a news conference with Schuyler's doctor. "All of us are wondering, 'Could I have held on and lasted 40-something hours?' There's just something about the determination, will and fortitude — it's just mind-boggling."

And, Hill pointed out, there's the celebrity factor. Marquis Cooper, 26, and Corey Smith, 29, are NFL players, and the other two, Schuyler, 24, and Will Bleakley, 25, are former University of South Florida football players.

Local connections with the four men have been made all over the country. Cooper's father, Bruce, is a TV sportscaster in Phoenix, and his station has followed the story closely. The Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders, whom Cooper and Smith played for, issued public condolences.

And a small Ohio newspaper, the Geauga County Maple Leaf, has tracked the story of its own "Chardon High graduate," Nick Schuyler.

Booking agents from Good Morning America flew in from New York to talk to Schuyler's parents.

They all want Nick Schuyler.

But so far, he's not talking.

Emily Nipps can be reached at

National media line up to talk to lone survivor of boating tragedy 03/04/09 [Last modified: Friday, March 6, 2009 10:56am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Ladee Hubbard's 'The Talented Ribkins' finds heroes in Florida


    Not every superhero hails from the Marvel or DC universes.

  2. For local officials, a charter school story with a surprise ending


    The opening day enrollment for Pasco County's newest charter school set off alarm bells in the school district's administrative offices.

    A page from the Pasco MYcroSchool website contains photos from its first day. The new school was projected to have 250 students this year. But when only 14 showed up initially, Pasco school officials questioned whether the school should receive its total allotment of funds from the state. [Pasco MYcroSchool]
  3. Rays morning after: There (really) are still reasons to be optimistic


    There are plenty of reasons to be pessimistic about the Rays' chances to get out of their extended skid and make the playoffs, including veteran 3B Evan Longoria's acknowledgement after Thursday's game that the pressures of …

  4. Can a Democrat win Florida's gubernatorial nomination without knocking Donald Trump?


    ...."I may not respect the occupant of the office, but I respect the office," (Philip) Levine said. "Right now he's the pilot, and I'm on the plane like everybody else. I don't wish the pilot failure. I want a smooth and safe landing."

    Philip Levine will announce his plans in October, and it looks likely he runs
  5. Forecast: Rain, heat prevails for Tampa Bay through weekend as tropics gear up


    The summertime pattern of mid- to late-day showers and scorching temperatures will persist across Tampa Bay on Friday and throughout the weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]