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The Tragic Death Of Drake Tester From The Curse Of Oak Island

Over the years, History Channel's "The Curse of Oak Island" has been a reality show that peels back the curtain on the mysterious and wild world of treasure hunting. Focused on the operation of brothers Rick and Marty Lagina, the series has seen its fair share of archeologists and excavators, as well as business partners — some of whom have brought their own family members on board. One of those people was Craig Tester, a Lagina partner who was joined by his teenage son Drake Tester a number of times during Seasons 2 to 4.

While he may have been a small part of "Curse of Oak Island," Drake's presence was enough for fans and the Laginas to take notice of him, as the teen often worked at the brothers' Nova Scotia dig site. In 2017, Drake reportedly died from complications following an epileptic seizure (via History Channel). Here's how his father and the producers at History handled the unexpected tragedy.

Drake Tester's death rocked Oak Island, caused his father to leave the show

While Drake Tester died on March 26, 2017, it wasn't until the Season 5 premiere of "The Curse of Oak Island" that November that most fans learned of the news. As seen in the episode, all of the cast and crew were in complete shock and deeply affected by the tragedy, especially Drake's father, who wound up leaving the series as a result. 

"It is unimaginable what Craig Tester must be going through after the loss of his son Drake," wrote the History Channel's Twitter account in a March 2018 post. "It is with a heavy heart that we wish him farewell from the show." 

According to the elder Tester, being on "Oak Island" in the months after Drake's death ultimately helped take his "focus" off losing him. "I think of him every day," Craig told History in a confessional, which the channel posted online with its 2018 tweet. "It's been a tough year," said the grieving father. "Appreciative for all the guys, and appreciative for Oak Island for everything it's done for me."

As noted in previous media reports, Drake Tester was said to have suffered from a seizure condition that affected him on and off since birth. He was memorialized by friends and teachers following his passing. "[Drake] treated every kid the same," said former teacher Tim Odette, speaking to 9 and 10 News. "It didn't matter who you were...he treated everyone with respect and really kind of followed that golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated," Odette added. "I think he really embodied that."