Improper anchoring caused accident that killed NFL players

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Boat not properly anchored

TAMPA, Fla. -- A deadly boating accident involving two NFL players and two of their friends was caused by not properly anchoring the vessel in the water, an investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission concludes.

In a report released Friday, the agency says that after the men were unable to retrieve the stuck anchor, Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper tried using the boat's motor to throttle forward in hopes of freeing the anchor and heading back to shore.

Instead, the 21-foot vessel capsized, throwing all four overboard.

Besides Cooper, also on board were free-agent NFL defensive lineman Corey Smith, and former University of South Florida players William Bleakley and Nick Schuyler.

Schuyler was the lone survivor. The others' bodies have not yet been found.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)