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Super Bowl event honors missing boaters from Tampa Bay

8:50 AM, Feb 3, 2010   |    comments
U.S. Coast Guard Photo
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Miami, Florida -- The series of celebrity events leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl in South Florida begins with an event that honors the four missing boaters involved in last year's tragic incident off Clearwater Beach.

Fishermen gathered Wednesday morning at a marina in Miami for the Super Celebrity Fishing Classic tournament.

The tournament honors Will Bleakley, Marquis Cooper, Corey Smith, and Nick Schuyler.  Those four friends with ties to the University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and other NFL teams disappeared while fishing in rough weather off Clearwater Beach.

The men set out in a small boat to go fishing from a boat ramp in Clearwater on February 28, 2009.  Over the next several days, searchers combed more than 16,000 square miles of water off the coast of Pinellas County, looking for the four men.

On March 2, the Coast Guard found Schuyler clinging to the capsized boat, more than 40 hours after it flipped over.

He was the only survivor.

The all-day fishing tournament was organized by the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee and puts fans alongside pro athletes and celebrities.

All of the proceeds from the event will go to charities chosen by the missing boaters' families, the NFL says.

Tickets for the event ranged from $3,500 for a VIP package to $100 for a ticket to the awards ceremony.

Connect with 10 Connects multi-media journalist Grayson Kamm on Twitter as @graysonkamm, on his Facebook page, or by e-mail at this link.

Grayson Kamm, 10 Connects

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