Not Without Hope
Nick Schuyler and Jere Longman
Morrow, Mar 2010, $25.99
On February 28, 2009, Clearwater, Florida is chilly even with the Phillies in town for Spring Training. Early that morning four twentyish men sail from Tampa Bay into the Gulf of Mexico for a day of camaraderie fishing before leaving for different parts of the country. Three of them are football players with two in the NFL (Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith) and the third Will Bleakley having played recently at the University of South Florida. They and the fourth Nick Schuyler expect a fun day. However, 35 miles from Florida, disaster strikes when their boat capsizes. They survive clinging to the ship for hours, but hypothermia eventually kills Marquis, Corey and Will in that order. Almost two full days since the boat turned over, the Coast Guard rescues Nick whose survival is believed to have been caused by seasickness, which led him to wear much warmer clothing than his doomed friends.
Not Without Hope is an incredible account of death and survival as Nick not only fights the bitter cold, but the frightening fear of helplessly watching your friends die while wondering when your turn occurs. Readers will appreciate this powerful memoir as Nick struggles with survivor guilt and more. Although at times his vivid descriptions are redundant, fans will know how Nick feels as he pulls no punches with this deep harrowing description of forty-five hours in hell.