Body Found May Be That Of Missing Boater

HURON, Ohio (AP) - A body believed to be that of a man whose abandoned sailboat was found drifting in Lake Erie washed ashore Sunday near Huron, sheriff's deputies said.

David Rush, 38, of Lorain, was last seen about noon Aug. 3 when he set out alone on his sailboat bound for Johnson Island.

The Coast Guard called off its search Aug. 5. Boats and helicopters spent about 40 hours focusing on a three-mile area northwest of the Huron River, about halfway between Cleveland and Toledo.

Crew members of a ferry that travels between Marblehead and Kelleys Island spotted Rush's boat with its sails up. A seat cushion identical to two others on the boat was found.

Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Paul Sigsworth said in a prepared statement that a resident saw the body among the rocks on the shore at Oberlin Beach, a private housing subdivision in Berlin Township, a mile east of Huron. The clothing matched the description of what Rush was wearing when he disappeared, he said.

Erie County Coroner Thomas Nesgoda sent the body to the Lucas County coroner in Toledo for an autopsy. Nesgoda said forensic testing, which could take several weeks, will verify the identity and cause of death.

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