Death of teenager being felt by people in Stephenville Crossing area

Frank Gale
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The death of a local teenager is being felt in the municipality and the whole area because of family connections and friends in nearby communities, says Stephen­ville Crossing Coun. Cynthia Down­ey.

“Any time you lose someone in a small community like ours, it’s sadly felt because pretty well everyone knows everyone else, and when it’s someone so young, it’s even more serious for family, relatives and friends,” she said.

Downey said it seems to hurt even more when things happen at this time of year, just when people are getting out and about doing activities after a long winter.

The body of the 17-year-old was recovered from Barachois Pond in Barachois Pond Provincial Park late Wednesday night after he went under the water earlier in the evening while fishing from shore.

Cpl. John Butler of the Bay

St. George RCMP said a report was received from a park warden at

7:26 p.m. that a youth could not be located.

He was last seen in the water about 25 feet from shore.

Police arrived and learned that the teenager had been fishing from shore when his line became hooked on something in the water and he swam out to try to free the line.

After several minutes in the water, police said, the teen began to exhibit signs of being in distress. Attempts to reach him by a couple of friends and an adult who were fishing with him were unsuccessful.

Butler said the water in the pond is extremely cold and the depth of the pond is a couple of feet deeper than what it normally is in the summer due to runoff from snow in the nearby hills, including Erin Mountain.

The RCMP, provincial park wardens, members of the Barachois Ground Search and Rescue team, and members of the Marine Institute safety and emergency rescue training centre searched the water in boats, using an underwater camera. At about 11 p.m., the teenager’s body was recovered. An autopsy is pending.

Ken Morrissey, director of communications with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, said counselling services were in place Thursday at Appalachia High School in

St. George’s, where the youth was a student, and would be available again today.

The Western Star

Organizations: Barachois Ground Search and Rescue, Marine Institute, Appalachia High School

Geographic location: Stephenville Crossing, Barachois Pond, Barachois Pond Provincial Park Western Star

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