Funds raised for private search to find Irishman missing in Canada

David Gavin (26) from Castlebar ‘presumed drowned’ after swimming in Canadian Rockies

A fundraising campaign has been started to fund a private search for the Irishman who went missing while swimming with friends in Canada.

David Gavin (26) from Moneen, Castlebar, Co Mayo, reportedly dived off a bridge at Beaver Creek, about 260km west of Calgary in the Canadian Rockies, on Friday afternoon last and failed to surface.

The official search by the police dive team waas suspended on Tuesday and he is presumed drowned, police have said.

However the Irish Sport and Social Club of Vancouver has started a campaign to raise money for private searches. The group has so far raised more than $100,000 (€68,000) and has set a goal of $250,000 for the efforts.


On its GoFundMe page the group wrote "Ths page in order to raise as much funds as we can to support the search and associated expenses in locating David and getting him home".

A special Mass of support will be held at Mr Gavin’s local Breaffy GAA in Co Mayo on Wednesday night.

In a statement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said it had called in its provincial dive team after an initial search with Golden Search and Rescue on June 30th, 2017 failed to locate the missing man.

“The initial search involved two boats and a dog, and RCMP and search and rescue members comprehensively searched the creek and Kinbasket Lake and shoreline,” the police said.

The British Columbia RCMP underwater recovery team arrived on July 1st, and have since been conducting a variety of underwater and surface scans.

Police air service were also contacted and have conducted flyovers of Kinbasket Lake and area.

“Unfortunately at this stage police are presuming that the missing man has drowned,” said staff sergeant Annie Linteau, a police spokeswoman.

“We have requested that our Air Services unit conduct periodic flyovers of the area throughout the summer, in the hopes that he will be located soon.”

Ms Linteau said victim support had been offered to the man’s family.

“The investigation remains ongoing.”

Mr Gavin’s family arrived in Golden, Canada on Sunday. Mr Gavin had been working in the financial sector in Dublin but moved to Vancouver recently with his Irish girlfriend.

David is a son of Michael Gavin, an official with Mayo County Council, and Angela Gavin.