GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CBS/AP) — Authorities in the Cayman Islands have ended a search for a comic book artist who went missing while snorkeling with his wife during a vacation.

A Saturday evening police statement says authorities in the British Caribbean territory have ended their active search for Norman Lee of Weymouth, Massachusetts.

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The 47-year-old artist’s wife returned to shore last week after they separated while snorkeling about 250 yards (about 230 meters) off Grand Cayman. Boats, divers and a helicopter crew searched for Lee. But no sign of him turned up.

Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks says the currents were strong in the area and it was “unlikely that we will make any recovery at this stage.”

Family members say his wife thought he had returned to shore when she could no longer see him. Rick Connolly with Royal Cayman Islands Police says the current is particularly strong in the area.

“There is a current out there which is taking us quite a way out to sea,” said Connolly.

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Local reporter Joe Avery with Grand Cayman 27 says he was last seen at the channel markers that separate the outer waters from the inner waters.

“The inner waters are quite calm because the reef adds protection,” said Avery.

“It isn’t uncommon for snorkelers to encounter trouble in the water.”

Lee had worked for Marvel and DC Comics on titles including Avengers, X-Men and Supergirl.

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