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Sunday 22 October 2017

More than €100,000 raised to help fund ongoing search for GAA star missing after swimming incident

David Gavin (26)
David Gavin (26)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

More than €100,000 has been raised to help the family of missing GAA player David Gavin.

Mr Gavin (26), who is originally from Castlebar in Co Mayo, went missing after he dived off a bridge over the Beaver River, in British Colombia, on Friday afternoon.

A police search to find him was stood down on Tuesday.

However, a fundraising effort initialy set up to support his family will now look to help cover the cost of a continuing private search for the talented GAA player.

The Irish Sporting and Social Club Vancouver, who set up the online fundraiser have currently raised $148,000 (aprox. €100,244) and have raised their target to $250,000.

In an update on the gofundme page the group said:

"To date we have been overwhelmed with the response to the fundraising campaign. The search for David is ongoing but as a substantial amount of the search has now had to become privately funded, we are raising the target to $250,000.

"At this point we cannot ascertain the total costs required, however, if there are any remaining funds after all costs are covered, all remaining monies will be donated to charities involved in bringing David home."

A mass is due to be held tonight in David's name in Breaffy GAA club in Castlebar.

Shortly after it emerged that he was missing the club said they were "heartbroken" in a statement.

It is understood David went missing after diving into fast moving river near Kinbasket Lake near Golden, British Columbia. 

According to near Golden, British Columbia, Mr Gavin was among a group of young Gaelic football players from Ireland who were travelling by car between Vancouver and Calgary.

"They stopped at the resort and asked if they could go for a swim," Rick Chartraw, owner of the Kinbasket Lake Resort camp ground said.

He told them they were welcome to jump off the resort's dock into the lake - a reservoir on the Columbia River.

"But unfortunately they saw a bridge over the Beaver River nearby and the young man jumped from the bridge to the river below," he said of the 20-metre drop.

"He surfaced and said he was OK but then disappeared," Mr Chartraw said.

The river itself is deep and it is very fast moving, he said of the tributary of the Columbia River which is fed by a glacier.

"We don't know what happened," he said.

Mr Gavin, who is a full-back for his club in Castlebar, was on transfer from the club to a Gaelic football club in Vancouver.

He had been playing for the Canadian club for only a few weeks.

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