Not Without Hope by Nick Schuyler

Nick Schuyler loved hanging out with his friends.  Having known each other since high school, Nick, Will Bleakley, Marquis Cooper, and Corey Smith, liked to get together when they could.

One weekend, the guys decided to do a day fishing trip.  This was supposed to be a day of friendships and fun as the four guys left on Coopers 21 foot boat and anchored 70 miles out.  As the afternoon went on, the weather took a turn for the worse, and the guys decided it was time to pack up and head into shore.

When the anchor seemed to be caught on something, the  boaters thought if they tied the anchor to the back of the boat and then hit the throttle the anchor should work its way free.  Instead, this move caused the boat to capsize.  All four of the men went into the water.

40+ hours only one man came out.

This would make for a sad, emotionally charged, fiction read.  However, this book is not fiction.  Nick Schuyler was the one survivor of this horrifying accident.  What ‘Not Without Hope’ is about, is the retelling of the details of what happened that day, and the hours to follow as the 4 men awaited, and prayed, for rescue.

Of course, this is a hard review to write.  My heart is heavy as I type these words.  I finished this book late last night and knew I had to share this review while the book is still so fresh in my mind.

The Coast Guard picture as they came upon the capsized boat

Nick starts this book with the background of himself and his friends.  Nick was at the time, a twenty-four year old personal trainer.  His friends Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith were both NFL payers and Will Bleakley, Nick’s best friend, once played football for the University of South Florida.

What happened from the time the boat capsized until the time of rescue is the majority of the book.  Nick shares in great detail what he recalls as each of his friend fought against hypothermia in the frigid waters, battling the salt water in their mouths and on the cuts on their bodies from struggling to keep a hold of the overturned boat.

As each of Nick’s friends loses their lives in this battle against the elements, I cry.  I grieve.  I can not even fathom what it had to be like to watch your friends take their last breath, say their last words, and then disappear below the deep waters.

Marquis Cooper * Corey Smith * Will Bleakley

A powerful book that I understand comes with controversy.  Nick himself is all too aware of the rumors that circulated about what happened that day.  From the articles I have read as a followup to this book, the proceeds of this book are going to charities.  Nick’s father is quoted to say that “This year since the accident has left Nick in a state of depression.  Nick has not even talked to his own family about all the details of what happened that day.” Nick’s father believes that the book was a way for Nick to express to everyone all at once what had happened.

A hard book to read, but one I am glad I did.  I pray for peace for the families and all involved.


NFL players on fishing trip, missing

Families of missing men start their own search

I borrowed this book from my local library

31 thoughts on “Not Without Hope by Nick Schuyler

  1. i had heard so much about this accident that i didn’t think i wanted to read the book
    you changed my mind

  2. Wow, this book sounds really powerful…and difficult to read. What a terrible tragedy. I can’t even imagine what it’s been like for the author, being the only one to survive. Thanks for the honest review.


  3. This is one of the most tragic events I have ever heard about. I could not imagine being Nick and having to relive that nightmare in your mind every day. I really don’t think I could read this book. I commend you for having done so and for the great review.

    1. Michelle – it is something so personal. Nick is the only one that can tell the story and with that must come so much pain. I like to red about true events, even if they are hard to get so and take a little piece of my heart along the way.

      Thanks you for the comment about the review. It was hard to write and it is so important to me to be respectful. 🙂

  4. I remember this story when it first happend but like many such tragedies it quickly left my mind when other events took place. Reading your review made it seem more real to me and now I really want to read the books and hear the author’s account for myself.

  5. Like Laurel, I got chills reading your review. What a life changing event for Nick and the families. I hope Nick will be able to find peace somehow. I heard about this book, but hadn’t planned on reading it. After your review, I may reconsider.

  6. I remember this story in the news so well. I was so deeply affected by the idea that this young man had to watch each of his friends die and deal with all of the survivor guilt. I will definitely put this on my list of books to read and hope that he will be able to move forward with his life. He has to be here for a good reason after what he went through.

    1. Kathleen – one of the downfalls of having my nose in a book and not turning on the tv much is sometimes I miss newsworthy items. I did not know about this until I picked up the book. My husband recalled hearing about it but I dont recall knowing anything about this.

  7. I don’t remember hearing about this, but I am fascinated by survival stories. I’ll keep an eye out for this one.

    I’m wondering what the rumors were that were going around though.

    1. Alyce, Nick goes into some of the rumors towards the end of the book. Part of the reasons for his writing the book was to squash rumors about drinking being involved, fighting amongst the friends…

      If you read it let me know – I would love to read your thoughts on this one.

  8. I cannot imagine-this book reminds me of the one that was written about the Australia cup the year that there were a few accidents-quite sad.

  9. I’ve been on a few boats but never out in the actual ocean before. The idea of being that far from land scares me too badly. I remember this! It happened not that long ago. I have a hard enough time reading fiction like this, there’s no way I could read a memoir.

    1. Ladytink I like to learn more about things – and as I say that I cringe at the word like. I think I mean I am interested in learning more about tragedies – I dont know why.

  10. This type of book is so hard to read. Even more so because it is a true story. I feel for the families of all involved. It mjust be especially difficult for Nick. Survivor guilt can be devastating. There will always be questions and doubts about the incident which he will never escape. It doesn’t help that it was the result of something foolish they did.
    Thanks for the review.

  11. Your review just about had me in tears, while this is obviously a tragic read, I think it’s one I would like to.

    PS I think the book about the Sydney to Hobart race where 7 died is called Fatal Storm

    1. Teddyree, I spent a lot of the book with tears running down my face. I am truly saddened by this story.

      Thank you for the title, I am going to look that one up.

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