I thought it might be prudent to chime in about the recent report that Marquis Cooper, Corey Smith and William Bleakley removed their life jackets. The news takes your breathe away.
Apparently Cooper and Smith did so and willing let themselves be taken by the sea. Bleakley thought he saw a light to swim to.
It is sad, because had the men stayed with the boat, or even worn their life jackets, they probably would have survived. However, the conditions these men were put in probably took them to the very edge. If the men got to that edge and didn't fear death (and/or didn't think death was the end), you can understand making the decision to let go of the boat and to take off the life jacket. It is comforting to me knowing they willingly gave their life to the sea, instead of it being taken by the sea. In a small way, they went on their own terms. They died while doing something they love to do. The age old pastime of fishing.
I realize saying they willingly chose to go can seem unsettling to some, but they had to make two choices. One, take off the life vest, two, let go of the boat. For some that choice even at our breaking point is impossible to make. Bleakley needed the hope of rescue to make that decision. Cooper and Smith, I guess they already had hope. My prayers are with the families of all involved.