Authorities are continuing to search Lake Ontario for a missing sailor from Oakville after the U.S. Coast Guard found his boat without him three kilometres off Rochester, New York on Wednesday.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ont. said in a tweet that “poor weather and high waves” are making the search difficult.
Halton Regional Police said they believe Eric Quimby, 65, left the Oakville Club marina on Tuesday at about 10:40 a.m. in his 30-foot sailboat for a recreational trip to the Stoney Creek, Ont. area.
Quimby is said to be a long-time member of the club and that he likes to get out on the water as often as possible. He also likes to go out alone.
“Quimby is a skilled sailor with more than 30 years’ experience and makes this trip often,” police said in a news release on Tuesday.
Police said they were contacted on Tuesday evening when Quimby did not return home. He is believed to be the only person on board the boat, which is equipped with a motor. The boat has a red and white hull.
Quimby was not on board the boat when it was discovered adrift by a concerned citizen out on the lake. The person said the boat looked suspicious and called the U.S. Coast Guard, which towed the boat into Rochester, where it remains.
Halton police said the sailboat was “unoccupied.”
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre has taken the lead on the search, which involves two Hercules aircraft, one from Canada and one from the U.S., and a Griffin helicopter. Halton police said the search is now in U.S. waters.
Halton police said its marine unit is working with marine units from Peel Regional Police, Toronto Police Service and the Canadian Coast Guard.
There are also volunteer coast guards helping in the search.
Air and water multi agency <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SAR?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SAR</a> continues for overdue <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oakville?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Oakville</a> sailor. Waves about 1 metre wind gusts to 30 knots. <a href=”https://twitter.com/TOWARF?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TOWARF</a> was on scene commander. Long hours overnight for our volunteers. <a href=”https://t.co/UX2s3sPGF8″>pic.twitter.com/UX2s3sPGF8</a>
Quimby is described as white, five-foot-10, 220 lbs., with a medium build, short blond hair and blue eyes.
When he left on his trip, he was wearing a white t-shirt, a dark sweater and red shorts. He is believed to have more clothing on the boat, including sweaters and wind breakers.
Anyone with information is urged to call police immediately.
Search for missing sailboater on Lake Ontario continues after missing vessel located by <a href=”https://twitter.com/USCGGreatLakes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@USCGGreatLakes</a> 3km off Rochester. Poor weather and high waves making for challenging search. Multiple <a href=”https://twitter.com/RCAF_ARC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@RCAF_ARC</a>, <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CASARA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CASARA</a>, <a href=”https://twitter.com/TPSMarineUnit?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TPSMarineUnit</a>, <a href=”https://twitter.com/CoastGuardCAN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@CoastGuardCAN</a>, <a href=”https://twitter.com/USCG?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@USCG</a> air and marine assets involved <a href=”https://t.co/ErJfcfY8HR”>pic.twitter.com/ErJfcfY8HR</a>
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