Coast Guard Ends Search For Boater

MARBLEHEAD, Ohio (AP) - The Coast Guard ended its search Wednesday for a boater who went overboard into Lake Erie.

Boats and helicopters searched the waters near Marblehead and Catawba Island and found nothing.

James Barnett, 40, of Barberton, went overboard in rough water before dawn Tuesday as he and a companion were returning to Marblehead from Put-in-Bay. Scott Speer, 37, of Doylestown, threw a life ring into the water and searched, then returned to the marina and called the Coast Guard.

Barnett was not wearing a life jacket.

The boating death toll in Ohio this year has risen to 19, up from the 13 boating-related deaths at the same point last year.

Ohio's deadliest boating year on record was 1973, when 73 people died.

This year's boating fatalities include two canoeists in separate accidents in January during a warm spell. Eight people died in May, another month in which boating deaths usually are low.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)