British Columbia

Gaelic footballers mourn 'really nice guy' presumed drowned in B.C.

David Gavin had been in Canada for just a few months before he dove from a bridge and disappeared near Golden, B.C., last week.

Young Irish player failed to resurface after diving from a bridge near Golden

David Gavin, 26, is presumed drowned after diving from a bridge near Golden, B.C. (Breaffy GAA/Facebook)

David Gavin had been in Canada for just a few months before he dove from a bridge and disappeared near Golden, B.C., last week.

The 26-year-old Irishman was travelling to Calgary from Vancouver on Friday for a Gaelic football championship when he and three other members of the team stopped at Kinbasket Lake Resort and decided to take a swim. Gavin jumped from the bridge over Beaver Creek at around 3:30 p.m., but failed to resurface.

The RCMP called off their search Tuesday morning and said Gavin is presumed to have drowned.

Teammates devastated by incident

David Gavin hailed from the small town of Breaffy in County Mayo, Ireland. (ISSC Vancouver)

"It was just devastating for us all," said Tadhg Egan, chairman of the Irish Sporting and Social Club Vancouver men's Gaelic football team.

Gavin is originally from the small town of Breaffy in County Mayo and moved to Vancouver with his longtime girlfriend in February, according to Egan. Gavin had been working as a business analyst for Telus.

"They seemed to be having just a fantastic time in Canada," Egan said. "They're a really nice couple."

Sadly, Friday was Gavin's girlfriend's birthday, which only compounded the tragedy, Egan added.

Gavin's family flew in from Ireland over the weekend and they have been waiting near the site of the accident for word about their son. His hometown football team, Breaffy GAA, posted on Facebook to say they were "heartbroken" to hear the news.

Tournament cancelled

David Gavin had been working for Telus in Vancouver before his disappearance. (LinkedIn)

Egan said the missing man was very popular with his teammates, a few of whom hail from the same small town and have known Gavin for years.

"He was a superb player for us, but he was just a really nice guy as a person. He was very warm, he was very friendly — extremely popular," Egan said.

In light of Gavin's disappearance, the Calgary tournament was cancelled. According to RCMP, the search continued Tuesday morning but efforts were suspended Tuesday afternoon.

Friends and family have been told to expect the worst, but Egan said they're still hoping someone will find Gavin's body so it can be returned to Ireland. 

"Obviously [the RCMP] have finite resources and there's other incidents that they probably need to attend to," Egan said.

"If anyone hears this and knows that area, we've been hoping people will continue to search along the foreshore or by boat."

RCMP spokesperson Staff Sgt. Annie Linteau said the force's air services unit has been asked to fly over the area periodically this summer in the hope of locating Gavin.