Death of Clarenville boy, 10, in Christmas tragedy prompts hockey-stick tributes

Clarenville Area Minor Hockey Association/Facebook

People from across Newfoundland and Labrador are posting photos of hockey sticks outside their doors to honour a 10-year-old boy who died in Clarenville on Christmas Day. 

A spokesperson for the RCMP said the boy was riding in a side-by-side all-terrain vehicle with his father when it broke through ice.

The child was trapped underwater for some time, police say.

 "You can only imagine how the town feels today," Clarenville Mayor Frazer Russell said. "The town will have to be strong and be there with [the family] during this terrible time in their lives." 

The mayor said the incident happened on a small body of water popular with ice skaters. 

"We're not talking about the ocean here," he said, "it was just a little, small, pocket of water."

The Clarenville Area Minor Hockey Association posted a photo of a hockey stick leaning near a front door, prompting hundreds of comments offering condolences and similar pictures. 

The boy was a part of the hockey association, Russell said. 

Riverside Elementary, a school for students from kindergarten to Grade 6, opened its doors on Boxing Day for any students who wanted to get together. 

Rescue effort

The RCMP said several groups worked together to free the boy on Christmas Day. Police, firefighters, paramedics and members of Triple Bay Eagles Ground Search and Rescue all responded.

Community members also helped in the rescue effort. 

The child was rushed to hospital as soon as he was removed from the water. He was pronounced dead around 7 p.m.

In an email to CBC News, a police spokesperson said the force "extends deepest condolences to his family and loved ones."

Clarenville, a town of about 6,300 people is approximately 190 kilometres away from St. John's. 

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