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A full scale search for a boater missing in the waters off Vancouver has been scaled back and turned over to police as a missing persons file.

Vancouver police confirm a 46-year-old Surrey, B.C., man has not been seen since renting a motorboat from Granville Island on Wednesday.

Police say he was planning to cross English Bay heading toward Bowen Island.

A search was launched later that day when an empty and drifting five metre boat was spotted in the bay.

An air and water search continued Wednesday and resumed Thursday but police say no sign of the lone boater has been found.

They say they are trying to determine what caused the man to go overboard.

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