‘It’s heartbreaking’: Mother mourns son lost at sea on Boxing Day

At 8am on Boxing Day, Carmella Newell received a terrifying phone call.

On the other end of the phone, my son’s Christian girlfriend was crying. Christian went overboard early that morning while fishing for lobster off Cape Sable Island, New South Wales, she said.

Other than that, the family didn’t know what had happened.

Hoping for news, Newell and her partner got into a truck and drove to the wharf where Christian had set off. A Christian brother soon joined them.

“We just waited and waited and waited, but I couldn’t take it anymore and they took me home.”

Newell said Christian was a good swimmer, but had a low survival rate and knew Christian’s buoyancy device had failed.

From her home in Newelton, NS, she told CBC News that the hours after his disappearance were a waiting game as her family searched for news from the search that was taking place at sea and in the air. rice field.

It wasn’t until the next day that the reality of what had happened set in.

Rescue operation stopped

The Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Center completed its search for Christian Atwood at noon on December 27 and handed him over to the RCMP as a missing persons case.

“It seemed more final when the RCMP officers came in,” Newell said. I hope that I can

A reading bearded man is seen wearing blue plaid buttons and dark gray tucks.
The search for Christian Atwood was called off at noon Tuesday, according to a spokesperson. Len Hickey of Halifax’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center, who was turned over to the RCMP as a missing persons case, Atwood is pictured in this photo posted to his Facebook account in 2019. (Facebook)

As soon as news of Christian’s disappearance became public, Newell said she began receiving messages of support, including from other crew members who were on the fishing boat.

“It was heartbreaking. They tried to save him, but they couldn’t.”

The crew suffered another tragedy this week. The boat’s captain suffered a heart attack hours after the search was called off. He remains in Yarmouth hospital.

A woman speaks in tears of the shock of losing her son
Carmella Newell said the family wants Christian’s body to recover so they can close down. (Robert Guertin/CBC)

Newell said he also heard from a family who lost their son when Miss Alley’s fishing boat sank in 2013. The bodies of the five fishermen who died in the incident were never recovered.

“They know what I’m going through,” Newell said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Christian leaves behind a 14-month-old son, Colson. Newell said the family will do everything possible to help Colson remember his father, who died while doing what he loved.

“He said that if he died, he would have eaten lobsters in the ocean,” she said. “But it was too early. He was only 27. Children should not die before their parents.”

Corson also has a trust account set up.

“It was just overwhelming”

A memorial service for Christian is scheduled for next week, but Newell said the family remains focused on caring for his little son and each other each day.

“I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and condolences from all over the world,” she said. , we need our family to hug us and pray for him to come home.”

Before this happened, Newell had asked the family to do more together: family dinners, trips to Digby. Join Corson’s whale watching and bring Christian’s photo with you.

“I miss my boy. I want him to go home.”

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