Police continued to scour the northern end of Lake Joseph in search of missing Toronto investment banker Brad Griffiths Wednesday evening.
Mr. Griffiths was last seen two days earlier on the Muskoka lake, about 200 kilometres north of Toronto. A witness saw him in distress in the water just before 1 p.m. Monday, while his motorboat continued to run in circles a few hundred metres from the shore.
His family has hired Shark Marine, a St. Catharines-based underwater technology company, to aid police with the search. OPP divers can go only 100 feet deep, while the area Mr. Griffiths was last seen in is nearly 300 feet deep, said Constable Charles Ostrom, spokesman for the West Parry Sound OPP.
Lake Joseph's rocky shoreline is dotted with multimillion-dollar cottages, many of which combine dockside boathouses with expansive living quarters.
Mr. Griffiths's cottage, which he purchased with his wife in 2005 for $4.9-million, sits on the shore at the northwestern end of the lake.
As the afternoon sun scorched the lake's surface on Wednesday, and the official search team paused at a nearby marina, Mr. Griffiths's neighbour, Don Hayhoe drove his Boston Whaler slowly around the lake. The cottager used his own sonar equipment to look for additional clues. He said he didn't know the Griffiths family well, but was just trying to help out.
The OPP and Shark team returned to the area shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday, and gently lowered a bright yellow remote-operated vehicle into the water. The ROV uses both sonar and video to scan the floor of the lake.
Terry Johnson, manager at nearby Hamer Bay Marine, where Mr. Griffiths sometimes stopped for gas, said one of his employees took local firefighters, who were the first to arrive on the scene, out on a boat to the spot Mr. Griffiths went missing on Monday. Emergency crews later found some of his clothes nearby, including his shoes and a glove.
Since then, Mr. Johnson said he was getting most of his information about the search from the local news. "Nobody knows anything here, or at least very little," he said Wednesday.
Mr. Griffiths's name is well known on Bay Street. He co-founded Griffiths McBurney & Partners in 1995, one of the most powerful independent investment banks in Canada. He left the firm in 1999. He had also been head of mergers and acquisitions at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; vice-president of Gordon Capital Corp.; head of capital markets at Canaccord Capital; and managing director of capital markets at McFarlane Gordon.
Mr. Griffiths is chief financial officer and chairman of the board of directors at United Hunter Oil and Gas Corp., as well as chairman of Griffiths Energy International.
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