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Published: Friday, 10/21/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Search ends for missing boater


SANDUSKY — The Coast Guard suspended a search Friday night for a missing Sandusky-area doctor who was presumed to have been in Lake Erie after his boat was found adrift west of Cleveland.

The search was suspended at 9:58 p.m. and was not expected to resume Saturday, the Coast Guard said.

Dr. Michael Leslie, 43, of Perkins Township was reported missing Thursday at 7:17 p.m. by his wife.

The Coast Guard said it suspends a search and rescue after a search area is saturated several times and a person missing is still not located.

Search efforts were concentrated near Lakewood, a suburb just west of Cleveland.

Dr. Leslie, a neurologist and internal medicine specialist, left from the Sandusky Yacht Club. A U.S. Coast Guard boat crew found Dr. Leslie’s 31-foot cabin cruiser about a mile north of Lakewood, about 9:15 a.m. Friday.

Because of rough water conditions, the Coast Guard vessel could not get close enough to Dr. Leslie’s boat to safely get a crew aboard. Instead, three search and rescue technicians from a Royal Canadian Air Force C-130 Hercules airplane parachuted and swam to the boat, authorities said. Nobody was found on the boat.

Authorities said it was unclear if Dr. Leslie went into the water.

His wife told authorities her husband was an “inexperienced mariner who ordinarily does not boat in the dark,” officials said.

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