Saturday 22 September 2018

Search for Mayo footballer who drowned in Canada 'stood down'

David Gavin
David Gavin

The search for a young Mayo footballer who drowned in Canada in June has been stood down until next year.

David Gavin went missing on June 30, after he got into difficulty jumping from a logging bridge in Kinbasket Lake Reservoir in British Columbia.

The 26-year-old had travelled to Canada with his partner in February. Since his disappearance his family and friends have continued to search for his remains.

A statement from the Gavin family confirmed that they along with David’s partner Ciara O’Malley have returned home from Canada after making “the heartbreaking decision” to stand down the search for the present time.

However, they said that “all possible search options were exhausted over the last few weeks”.

These included high tech sonar technology which was used in the original search and to re-examine areas of possible entanglement in August.

Two canine search teams were also commissioned to attempt to confine the search area. These areas were then re-sonared and a commercial dive team carried out a systematic search of these locations up to depths of 60ft in poor visibility.

Despite these attempts, they were unable to recover David’s remains. The family have now been advised to return next May when the water level in the lake reservoir will be at its lowest level.

At this time water depth will be reduced to 10ft and the family hope this will help them identify David’s location.

A statement from the family read: "We would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing support given to us over the last few months, since David went missing. We have been truly overwhelmed by the generosity of people and we would love to be able to thank every single person and group individually. We just want you all to know that without your support, we would not have been in a position to carry out the search to the extent that we did. It has meant such a great deal to us to have the support of the community and for that we will be eternally grateful."

The family also thanked David’s two GAA clubs, Breaffy and Vancouver Harps for their unwavering support throughout. A series of matches in David’s memory took place last weekend in Canada with all affiliated clubs in Western Canada GAA taking part.

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