The search for the body a young man presumed drowned in June has been called off until the spring.
Twenty-six-year-old David Gavin was travelling from Vancouver to Calgary for a football tournament on June 30 when he and some friends stopped at Kinbasket Lake to cool off.
The Golden Star reported that after swimming around the boat launch, the group spotted a bridge over Beaver River. Gavin’s girlfriend, Ciara O’Malley, told the newspaper that he was the first to jump in and “after resurfacing and taking a few strokes, he went back under and was taken away by the undercurrents.”
Local RCMP responded with Golden Search and Rescue, but were unable to locate Gavin and the initial search was called off on July 4.
Gavin was a gaelic football player and a member of the Irish Sporting and Social Club of Vancouver. According to a Facebook post by the club, he was on his way to play in the Western Canadian Championship in Calgary.
After the initial search was called off, a GoFundMe campaign was started to fund costs of additional search measures. It raised $299,404.
Gavin’s family returned to Ireland last week after making the decision to call off the search.
“Unfortunately the search for David did not yield the positive result that the family had friends had hoped for,” said a Facebook post by Breaffy Gaa, a football club he played for in Ireland. “The search was hampered to a great extent by poor water visibility in the lake, but all possible search options were exhausted over the last few weeks.”
Sonar technology, canine search teams and a commercial diving team were all involved in the search.
According to the post on social media, the family has been advised to return in May when water levels will be low.
“The river channels will then be exposed, with the water depth reduced to 10 feet. This may facilitate identification of David’ precise location, which will then, hopefully bring some closure for family and friends,” it said.
A memorial mass was held for Gavin in August in his hometown.
“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,” the family said in a statement. “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.”
A David Gavin Memorial Tournament was hosted by the Calgary Chieftans GAA in Salmon Arm at the end of September.