NEW ORLEANS (AP) -U.S. Coast Guard rescue crews continued searching Lake Pontchartrain on Monday for New England Patriots defensive end Marquise Hill, who was reported missing following a jetski accident.
``We searched throughout the night,'' said Petty Officer Tom Atkeson.
Hill's agent, Albert Elias, said he had been told Hill and a young woman were jetskiing Sunday in the lake when both of them went into the water, which had a strong current. Elias said the woman was able to make it to a pylon and hang on until she was rescued, while Hill was last scene floating away from the scene.
``I'm an optimistic guy,'' Elias told WWL Radio in New Orleans. ``He's a strong kid and a fighter.''
Hill played on LSU's 2004 national championship team and was drafted in the second round by New England.
The Coast Guard was using both boats and a helicopter search the shoreline, Atkeson said. Wildlife and Fisheries was using a recovery line that drags the bottom of the water.
A call came in around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Atkeson said. The woman, whose identity was not available Monday morning, was rescued and sent to Tulane Medical Center where she told them Hill had tried to keep her calm even as the two were drifting away from each other.
Neither Hill nor the woman wore a life preserver, Atkeson said.
``It's so important to have a life jacket and a signaling device,'' Atkeson said. ``One keeps you afloat and the other helps us find you.''
Elias said Hill has spent much of his time since Hurricane Katrina helping family members rebuild their homes.
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