‘They were great guys’: P.E.I. mourns teens lost at sea | #socialmedia | #children

Tributes and words of love and empathy have been pouring in on social media as volunteers and emergency crews continue to search for two teens missing at sea in western P.E.I. since Wednesday evening.

The search for Ethan Reilly and Alex Hutchinson, both 17, is now a recovery mission, RCMP say. They were in a dory off off Northport, P.E.I., with Max MacIsaac, another friend and schoolmate, when the boat capsized in 16 C water.

MacIsaac, also 17, was able to swim to shore and call 911.

Tom Murphy, Alberton Fire Department captain, taught the boys in school before retiring in June. He said they were well-known and well-loved in the small, tight-knit community.

“They were great guys, they were 17-year-old boys, you know, full of life and joy,” he said. “I spend a lot of time on the water in the summer and they were out there all summer, too. Just boys having fun on the water with Sea-Doos or boats.”

Dave Clements of Bloomfield has known the families for years and watched the boys grow up with his own son, Josh.

“Ethan was fairly mischievous, but always such a great kid, he was so kind,” Clements said. “He just liked to have fun. When he was younger, you couldn’t turn your back on him very long. But anyway, he turned out to be a great young man, for sure.”

Loved to fish

Clements said Alex loved to fish and be out on the water.

“He always … kind of liked to tease me whenever they raced us in from fishing, stuff like that,I always got a big smile on his face. They’re just your typical good boys.”

Clements said he hopes the boys can be found soon to give the families closure. On Friday, he posted a tribute to Ethan and Alex on Facebook, saying the world would be a better place if more people were like them.

“I just wanted to say something nice for them and and for their families and their friends. Just to know how we all remember them by.”

The town of Tignish lit the lobster trap Christmas tree that was erected two years ago to honour fishermen, including Moe Getson and Glen DesRoches. They died when their boat capsized the same year.

Two hockey sticks were added to the tree in honour of Ethan and Alex, who grew up playing hockey in the community.

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