Body of missing Mayo man found in Canada

David Gavin failed to return to surface while swimming in British Columbia last June

The body of a young Mayo man who went missing while swimming in British Columbia last summer was located by search teams on Saturday evening.

David Gavin (26) from Moneen, Castlebar, was reported missing on June 30th after he failed to surface when swimming with friends near Kinbasket lake, a reservoir on the Columbia river some 260km west of Calgary.

His family was informed on Saturday evening that his body had been found by diver search dogs some 30m from a bridge which he had jumped off into Beaver Creek last year.

Mr Gavin’s parents, Angela and Michael, and girlfriend Ciara O’Malley had travelled out to British Columbia last week for a resumed search, which was due to involve specially trained divers from Ireland next week.

David Gavin had been working in the financial sector in Dublin before moving to Vancouver, Canada. He was a keen footballer, playing with his local Breaffy GAA club in Castlebar and on Mayo inter-county panels. He had become involved with the GAA community in Vancouver.

Over €100,000 was raised to assist a private search effort after an official search led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was completed early in July.

Mayo search and recovery diver Michael Loftus, who is a Fianna Fáil councillor, explained that weather conditions had dictated when a search could resume.

“Kinbasket lake freezes over in the winter, and the aim was to start a search again during the early stages of a thaw before the creek became a torrent,”Cllr Loftus said.

A specially trained search and recovery dive team from Sheephaven Sub-Aqua Club in Donegal had been due to fly out on Monday morning to work on a two-and-a half mile stretch of the creek next week.

Chief Supt Tony Healy, formerly based in Belmullet, confirmed he had been informed that the body had been located late on Saturday night and extended his sympathies to the family.

Cllr Loftus said that there had been an overwhelming outpouring of support for the Gavin family in Mayo and Canada , and the location of his body was a great relief to his family at a very traumatic time.

“Now they will be able to grieve properly and our sympathies are with them,”he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware that a body had been located during the search for the Irishman, and said it had been providing consular assistance to his family

A social media post by Breaffy GAA club said :” It is (with) great relief and a lot of sadness that David Gavin’s remains have been recovered from Kinbasket Lake. Water levels had reduced greatly in recent weeks to allow a search to be resumed. David’s family wish to thank everyone for their continued support.