The Curse of Oak Island returns for Season 5 next week following a massive blow for the team — the tragic death of Craig Tester’s son Drake.
Drake, the brother and best friend of fellow Oak Island star Jack Begley, passed away in March this year at the age of 16.
The teenager, who has previously appeared on the History show, died from a seizure condition which he’d had since birth.
His obituary in Michigan’s Traverse City Record-Eagle, the local newspaper where he lived, revealed that the disorder would only appear “once every few years for a few minutes” but was the ultimate cause of his death.
It added: “Drake saw — and lived — truths that many of us after decades never learn: to live every moment to its fullest, to find your passions and to follow them, to always give 100 percent, to be true to yourself, to treat everyone equally, to look at what is inside a person instead of what is on the outside and to realize that a hug can speak volumes. Drake gave great hugs!”
Oak Island Tours Inc — the company with which Craig, the Lagina brothers and the rest of the “Fellowship of the Dig” run Oak Island — took to their Facebook page to reveal the tragic news earlier this year, praising Drake’s “wonderful smile, infectious laugh and warm hugs”.
It is with extreme sadness Oak Island Tours Inc. confirm the passing of Drake Maxwell Tester, younger son of Craig…
Drake attended Traverse City Central High School. The school’s choir director Tamara Williams paid tribute to him at the time of his passing. She said: “His positive attitude and his infectious enthusiasm were really contagious.
“He was always 100 percent engaged and that really did have a positive impact on the rest of the students. He had an encouraging effect on his peers.”
His mom Becky Tester — Craig’s wife — said: “He was so accepting. He would constantly reach out to those in need and never judged…he just wanted you to be happy.”
Drake passed away on March 26. He previously appeared on The Curse of Oak Island in Season 3 back in 2015.
The show’s executive producer Kevin Burns said in a tribute following his death that Drake was “a very kind and loving young man who was growing up to be an exceptional human being”.
He added: “To say he was loved is an understatement. Drake was cherished. His enthusiasm was infectious. His potential was limitless. Unfortunately for us, his time was far too short — but his legacy will be lasting.”
Fans and friends also rushed to pay tribute to the popular teenager. One said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the Tester family, and the entire Oak Island family right now. I pray God gives you all the strength to move through this, to celebrate his life, his goodness, his kindness and his love. May he rest in peace.”
It is thought Drake’s passing features in the premiere of The Curse of Oak Island Season 5. The episode description – which along with that of the second episode has just been released — says that during the two-hour special “the fellowship of the dig is faced with a tragic loss”.
The Curse of Oak Island Season 5 premieres November 7 on History.