Teens re­mem­bered in Up­per Is­land Cove

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYASH­LEY FITZ­PATRICK afitz­patrick@thetele­gram.com

Res­i­dents in the Town of Up­per Is­land Cove are mak­ing their way through the one-year an­niver­sary of a hard, head­line-mak­ing hol­i­day sea­son in 2008. The sea­son in­cluded the loss of two 15-year old boys from the area.

This year, on Dec. 20, fire­fighter War­ren Adams was in full uni­form for a Sun­day ser­vice at St. Peter’s Church in Up­per Is­land Cove. Adams said the hol­i­day ser­vice was treated as a memo­rial ser­vice for the teenagers - Max Antle and Ryan Coombs.

“The church was packed,” he said, not­ing a mo­ment of si­lence was marked and other solemn ad­di­tions were made. “They had a song there for Max and Ryan.”

“The town is al­most just as dev­as­tated as it was this time last year,” said the fire­fighter.

The ser­vice marked one year, less a day, since the search be­gan for the two miss­ing boys.

It was then, Dec. 21, 2008, that tracks from an ATV the two boys were rid­ing were found lead­ing over a sea­side cliff at the edge of the Con­cep­tion Bay North town. A sub­se­quent search of land and sea drew na­tion-wide news cov­er­age.

While the ATV the pair were rid­ing, as well as a boot iden­ti­fied as be­long­ing to one of the boys, were re­cov­ered, the boys them­selves were not found. The RCMP would call off their for­mal search pe­riod Christ­mas Eve, 2008. Vol­un­teers from out­side com­mu­ni­ties, divers and a sonar team from Deer Lake con­tin­ued search­ing through New Year’s Eve. Lo­cal fish­er­men con­tin­ued search­ing long af­ter, without fur­ther dis­cov­er­ies.

A fu­neral was held for the two teens on Jan. 3, of this year.

Adams said there is now a memo­rial, found past the Le­gion and to­wards the wa­ter, ded­i­cated to the youths.

“It’s all lit up for Christ­mas kind of thing now,” said Adams.

Bill Bow­man/The Com­pass SA­CRED GROUND - Early Christ­mas Eve mourn­ing sun rays re­flect off the wa­ters of Con­cep­tion Bay as a cross stands on what has be­come a sa­cred site in mute wit­ness to a tragedy that occurred in Up­per Is­land Cove a year ago. A spe­cial memo­rial gar­den has been set up near the edge of the steep cliff over­look­ing the sea, where two 15-yearold boys, Ryan Coombs and Max Antle went over on an ATV Dec. 21, 2008.

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