VALDEZ (AP) A search continued Thursday for a doctor whose empty rowing scull was found drifting in the port of Valdez.
Dr. Andrew Embick, 52, an avid outdoorsman and experienced boater, left a note Wednesday morning for his wife telling her he was going out on the water. A scull is a streamlined boat used for racing.
Embick and his wife, Dr. Kathleen Todd, are partners at the Valdez Medical Clinic. Embick, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, has practiced medicine in Valdez since 1979.
Embick is known for his participation in rigorous outdoor races and his 1994 book, ''Fast & Cold: A guide to Alaska White Water.''
Two canoers found Embick's boat shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday. The boat had no water in it. Binoculars were found in the bottom, indicating the boat had not capsized, according to The Valdez Star.
A Coast Guard helicopter and two patrol boats began searching for Embick, paying close attention to the shoreline in hopes that the doctor was on shore when his boat simply drifted away.
The Alaska State Troopers also joined in the 3-1/2 hour search, as well as the Valdez police and fire departments. Volunteers joined the search on Thursday.
Embick returned just three weeks ago from a 6-month sabbatical in northern Pakistan, where he provided medical care in a village. Embick took the leave of absence after a lengthy dispute with the administration of the Valdez Community Hospital.
He's also been involved in several confrontations with snowmachiners riding illegally on local ski trails.
For more than a decade, Embick has been tussling with the city over use of the trails he helped to set up. During that time, he has been arrested, fined and banned from using the ski trails for his confrontations with snowmachine operators.
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