Teens remembered in Upper Island Cove
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.