Search For Missing Boater Continues

Coast Guard crews have been searching Lake Michigan for a man whose 12-foot sailboat was found empty about 5 miles off the Indiana shore.

Authorities said Friday that 59-year-old Steven Banks, an orthodontist from Gary,  was last seen Wednesday before he is believed to have gone sailing from his home in the Miller Beach neighborhood of Gary. Banks' wife said she reported him missing after he didn't show up at his orthodontist office in suburban Chicago.

Indiana conservation Officer Gene Davis says a Coast Guard helicopter crew spotted Bank's boat on Thursday.

Kathy Banks told The Times of Munster that her husband is an avid sailor and a strong swimmer who usually wears a wet suit and life vest when he is sailing.

"That could be the thing that saves him, the fact that he's got a wet suit on. yes, so I'm hoping. They're continuing the search today. They have Jets and helicopters and boats and people on the ground and I'm just hoping, "  Banks' wife told Newsradio 780.

She has faith in her husband's skills in the water.

"If somebody would stay afloat for two days, it could be him," she said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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