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Coast Guard calls off search for doctor

A local obstetrician remained missing at sea Friday when the Coast Guard called off its search for him.

Dr. Dell Weible, 51, of Belleair was reported missing Thursday afternoon by his brother, who said Weible hadn't returned after leaving Belleair in a 23-foot Mako outboard fishing boat named Greenback.

A Coast Guard helicopter found the boat adrift three hours later about 20 miles southwest of Clearwater Pass. No one was aboard.

The Coast Guard used a 41-foot utility boat and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to search overnight Thursday and again Friday, covering 1,500 square miles. They found nothing and suspended the search Friday evening "pending further developments." The boat was towed to the Coast Guard base on Sand Key.

In 1989, Weible's peers elected him chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Morton Plant Hospital. Three years later, he ran in the Boston Marathon.

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