The father of a young Mayo man who died in a drowning tragedy in Canada has issued a heartfelt plea to young people not to take risks in the water.
The body of 26-year-old Breaffy clubman David Gavin has not yet been recovered after he jumped into a river from a bridge in British Columbia on June 30th.
In today’s Irish Independent his father Michael, who is the Mayo County Council Water Safety Officer, said anything can go wrong when you’re jumping into the unknown.
Michael and Angela Gavin, their daughter Aoife, David’s girlfriend Ciara O’Malley and other family members have been in Canada since early July as the search for David continues. They returned last week for a memorial Mass in Castlebar.
As Mr Gavin prepares to return to Canada to resume the search for his only son, he has delivered a safety message about the water.
He said as David and his team mates waited for other members of the Irish Sporting and Social Club in Vancouver to catch up to them as they were travelling to a match in Calgary, David decided to jump from the logging bridge into the river which feeds the Kinbasket Lake.
Mr Gavin said David did not consider the temperature of the water, as the Beaver River is being fed by waters from glaciers.
Anybody diving in risks heart failure due to cold shock. David would have been unaware that the river, which looks calm, has extremely strong undercurrents.
Mr Gavin said he would appeal to young people, males in particular, to think and not to take unnecessary risks.