09/12/2011 04:31 EDT | Updated 11/12/2011 05:12 EST

Lake search for boater scaled back

An Oshawa-area man whose empty fishing boat was found off the Toronto waterfront on Saturday is believed to have drowned, the Toronto police marine unit says.

A search that began Saturday has been scaled back and the marine unit is no longer involved, an officer said Monday afternoon. The operation has changed from one of search and rescue to recovery, he said.

The 42-year-old man is believed to have launched his five-metre aluminum boat in Lake Ontario shortly after 6 p.m. Friday in Whitby, Durham regional police said. The man’s brother later confirmed he was missing.

The Toronto marine unit joined the search after the man’s boat was found floating more than 1.5 kilometres south of Ashbridges Bay with no one aboard.

A search and rescue team from CFB Trenton also took part in the extensive effort to locate him and called off the effort on Monday afternoon, police said.

The boater's truck and trailer were found in Whitby.