An owner of the Dog River Golf Links wept openly Thursday as he told a hearing about the search for Kyle Bambrick, who froze to death after leaving a New Year's Eve party at the P.E.I. golf club.

Ozzie MacEachern told the hearing of the P.E.I. Liquor Commission that he was informed over the telephone at about 5 p.m. New Year's Day by his son, Adam, that Bambrick was missing. Adam MacEachern had hosted the party Bambrick had attended.

Bambrick, 18, froze to death after leaving the party during a blizzard. Violations of the Liquor Control Act during the party cited by the commission led to a one-year cancellation of the golf club's liquor licence.

A co-owner of the club, Ozzie MacEachern has appealed the decision.

MacEachern told the hearing that after hearing Bambrick was missing, he immediately began phoning neighbours to get them to watch for the teen. He then went across the street to prepare the golf course pro shop to be used as headquarters of the search and rescue effort.

He said he used a snowblower to blow out the driveway and recalled trembling as he did so, afraid that he might find Bambrick somewhere in the snow.

MacEachern wept openly during much of this testimony, and so did his son Adam as he listened.

At the core of the hearing is whether the New Year's Eve event could be considered a private party. Lawyers for the golf course have argued that it was because the course was closed for the season.

Summation arguments will be heard Friday afternoon and the adjudicator will make his decision sometime after that.