Dad drowned while clearing ice for hockey game

Update 2019 01 19: Added links to related articles.

Dad drowns while making ice rink for family

3 Jan 2009

Moments after Jason Matthew Shank disappeared beneath the icy surface of the family dugout, his children made a frantic dash for help.

Shortly before, they had watched as he cleared snow off the ice with a BobCat for the traditional family hockey game.

Around 5 p. m. Thursday, the ice cracked and the small front-end loader with Shank inside fell through.

The children ran screaming to the nearest house.

“They came here because we’re just a hop, skip and a jump away,” said Meghan, a neighbour who did not want her last name used.

“ ‘Help our dad,’ they yelled, ‘He went in the water. He’s in the water.’ ”

The next few minutes were chaos on the farm southwest of Drayton Valley.

Neighbours ran to the dugout to see a gaping hole in the ice, but no sign of the 33-year-old Shank.

His children had seen him surface once, but there was six metres of freezing water under the ice. Someone called 911. The children yelled for someone to get their dad out of the water, but no one knew if any of the ice was safe.

“Get him out. Get him out,” Shank’s wife Linda, a prison guard, kept repeating.…(Full Story)

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