Saturday 25 November 2017

'Anything can go wrong when you're jumping into the unknown' - dad of GAA star who died in swimming accident in Canada

David Gavin
David Gavin
David Gavin

Tom Shiel

The father of a young Irishman who died in a recent tragedy in Canada has issued a heartfelt plea to young people not to take risks in the water.

The body of David Gavin (26) has still not been recovered after he jumped from a bridge in British Columbia on June 30.

His father Michael, who is a water safety officer with Mayo County Council, said: "Anything can go wrong when you're jumping into the unknown."

Michael and Angela Gavin, along with their daughter Aoife, David's girlfriend Ciara O'Malley, and other family members, have been in Canada since early July as the search for the young GAA player (inset) continues. They returned last week for a memorial Mass in Castlebar.

Now, as he prepares to return to Canada to resume the search for his only son, Mr Gavin has delivered a strong safety message.

He revealed further details of the tragedy that occurred on June 30 at a logging bridge on the Beaver River as David and a number of team-mates from ISSC GAA Club in Vancouver were travelling to a football match in Calgary.

As they waited in sweltering heat for other team-mates to catch up, David, a strong swimmer, decided to jump from the logging bridge into the river which feeds Kinbasket Lake.

Mr Gavin explained: "David did not consider the temperature of the water. The Beaver River is fed by waters from glaciers.

"Anybody diving in risks heart failure due to cold shock. David would also have been unaware that the river, which looks calm, has extremely strong undercurrents."

He added: "I would appeal to young people, males in particular, to think and not to take unnecessary risks."

Irish Independent

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