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POLICE SUSPECT GAS TANK FOUND ON SHORE IS FROM MISSING BOAT

A gas tank found along the Lake Ontario shoreline here may have come from the boat that six Canadian teen-agers took out on the lake two weeks ago before disappearing, according to Niagara regional police.

"It appears that could be it," said Niagara Regional Police Staff Sgt. Sandy Ryrie, noting the gas tank fit the description of the one that was on the boat authorities believe the teen-agers stole March 16.

"It is fairly new and had no rust," he said. "That shows it was not out in the water too long -- not more than two weeks. It has English and French on it, so it is not American-made. And it would be unusual to find a gas tank like that in the lake."

The gas tank was found Wednesday at the lakeshore off Dickersonville Road, a U.S. Coast Guard official said, and Niagara regional police picked it up late Wednesday.

Thursday, Capt. Bruce Wright of the Niagara County Sheriff's Department Marine Patrol searched this end of the lake for signs of the missing teen-agers and the boat but found nothing, according to John Cole, chief of the department's Criminal Bureau.

The teen-agers, ranging in age from 16 to 18, were last seen late March 16 in Pickering, Ont., just east of Toronto, where they had been drinking, Ryrie said.

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