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Hoyt Lake swimmer prompts police search

The Buffalo police underwater recovery unit and the Erie County sheriff's Air One helicopter went into action Friday afternoon, expecting to find the body of a man who had been seen going into Delaware Park's Hoyt Lake.

It turned out there was no emergency. The man had tested the water for a swim but found the 43-degree water too chilly, got out and left the park.

The search began at about 2 p.m. when police were called to check on reports that a partially disabled man wearing only his underwear had dived into the lake. Shoes and clothing had been left at the lake.

The man, who was not identified but is said to be in his late 20s, had planned to swim across the lake as part of his training for an upcoming marathon event.

Michael DeGeorge, spokesman for the Buffalo Police Department, said the two units spent about 90 minutes searching for a body. Later police units tracked the man to a Delaware Avenue art studio where he works. They returned his clothing.

The man told officers he wrapped himself up with a blanket so it resembled a toga and walked barefoot to a low-cost department store several blocks from the lake to purchase some dry clothing.

Police also confirmed the man's arms end at his elbows.