The search for a missing Bay Roberts man ended early afternoon on Friday, and the outcome was a tragic one.
Sgt. Greg Hicks of the Trinity Conception RCMP confirmed that at 12:30 p.m., members of Avalon North Wolverines search and rescue located the body of 37-year-old Andrew Lush.
The Wolverines, using a fast-rescue craft, located Lush in a body of water behind The Mariner lounge on Water Street in Bay Roberts.
The recovery, which took several hours, ended an exhaustive weeklong search.
Lush was last seen around 1 a.m. on Feb. 15 at Kelly’s Landing on Water Street in the community.
According to Andrew’s mother, Betty Lush, Kelly’s Landing was the third stop for Andrew in a night of drinking that also included stops at two other Bay Roberts bars — The Mariner and Coach House.
“It’s a strange thing that happened to him,” Betty commented Friday morning, just hours before her son’s body was recovered. At the time, she was still holding on to hope he would be found alive.
His body was found in an area of water that was not available to searchers during the initial search due to ice buildup.
However, a change in weather patterns cleared the ice from the area in recent days.
Hicks said the RCMP investigation is not finished.
“There is an autopsy being done to determine cause of death,” said Hicks.
It was a heart-wrenching week for the Lush family as they waited for answers about the disappearance of their loved one.
The search was undertaken by volunteers with the Wolverines, police and family members.
“It’s terrible,” Betty Lush said.
There has been much speculation as to the circumstances surrounding Andrew’s departure from Kelly’s Landing, with many on social media questioning why Lush was allowed to leave the establishment without some assistance.
The bar’s owner, Donna Fowler, declined to comment when contacted.
She had been away from her business for the past several weeks, and was not working the night of Feb. 14.
However, her employees have been in contact with the RCMP and have given statements. Attempts to speak with employees who were working that night were unsuccessful.
Sources say employees did call a taxi for Lush, but that he declined.
RCMP Sgt. Greg Hicks confirmed that employees have co-operated with the investigation, but he would not comment on what information they have provided.
Betty Lush, however, believes more could have been done.
“If a drunken man says no, you still get (a taxi) for him,” she said.
Among the resources brought in for the search were a police service dog, a helicopter and a fast-rescue craft operated by the Wolverines.