NORTHPORT, P.E.I. – The search continued Monday for Alex Hutchinson, the 17-year-old who went missing after the small boat he and two friends were in capsized Wednesday evening.
Max MacIsaac managed to swim to shore that night. The body of Ethan Reilly was retrieved from the water late Sunday afternoon.
RCMP divers searched off Fox Point Monday using side scanning sonar. Boats crisscrossed the water, and an RCMP drone was in the air throughout the day.
“They won’t rest till Alex is found,” said Jacinta Gaudet, a close friend of Wayne Ballum, Ethan Reilly’s grandfather.
Ballum and Gaudet are overwhelmed with the support from the community in the search efforts as well as those who supplied comforts like food and water.
“It’s been non-stop help,” she said. “You can’t help but be there for them, they’re very good people.”
Ballum said the boys were good kids.
“Everything they wanted, they worked hard for it. Some of them worked three jobs. That’s the way they were raised . ... They were just amazing, good children,” said Ballum.
He remembered back to last fall when he had a “close call” and was in hospital in Halifax.
Ethan blocked, split and stacked all his firewood. Then throughout the winter, Ethan and his girlfriend, Megan Kinch, would come over and move the split firewood closer to the house for him.
“All the boys, if they were driving by, they’d come in and sit on the chesterfield and talk to an old fella like me,” said Ballum.
The night they capsized, they were out testing a new 15 horsepower motor they’d bought for an aluminum dingy they were planning to sell, said Ballum.
Ballum and Gaudet each praised the younger generation.
“It restores your feelings about the younger generation when you see them volunteer here.”
Both of Ethan’s parents are helping look for Alex. Ethan’s dad, Kyle Reilly was out in one of the boats all day Monday searching, said Ballum.
“They’re hoping to get the two boys together again,” said Ballum. “Ethan won’t rest until Alex is back in.”
Alison Jenkins, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Journal-Pioneer