Hours after he finished raising over $100,000 for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research, former Boston College and Babson College hockey player Corey Griffin died in a diving accident in Nantucket.
Griffin was one of the men behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fundraiser and a friend of Pete Frates, who inspired the challenge.
According to a police press release, "Witness stated Griffin had jumped off the Juice Guys building, at 44 Straight Wharf, into the water where he floated to the surface. Griffin then went under water again not resurfacing."
An off-duty lifeguard, who was nearby, managed to rescue the 27-year-old from the bottom of the harbour.
After attempting to resuscitate him, he was taken to Nantucket Cottage Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Griffin, a Director of Strategic Initiatives at RANE in New York, was good friends with Pete Frates, the man whose battle with ALS helped launch the Ice Bucket Challenge.
From the Boston Globe:
Corey Griffin’s family and friends said he was in Nantucket to do more fund-raising for ALS research. Robert Griffin said his son was tortured by his friend Frates’s ordeal with the incurable neurodegenerative disease, and had urged him to come visit Frates in their Friday night phone call.
“He was so happy to be able to help him,” Robert Griffin said.
Tributes began to flow in immediately for the 27-year-old former hockey player after his untimely death.
“Team FrateTrain lost a good friend today, Corey Griffin," said Pete Frates in a statement on Facebook.
"Helping out was nothing new for Griff. He held his own event for me back in 2012, just a few months after diagnosis. He worked his butt off these last few weeks for ALS. We texted everyday, planning and scheming ways to raise funds and plan events."
Griffin's best friend since childhood, Anthony Aiello, also posted an emotional tribute.
“I just can’t stress enough that he was the greatest best friend, brother, and son anyone could ask for,” Aiello said.
“He lived life to the fullest and everybody loved him. And every time he walked into a room, he put a smile on everybody’s face.”
The fundraising campaign has raised over $4 million nationwide since the end of July, nearly $3 million more than was raised during the same time period a year ago.
Griffin was a freshman forward on the 2006-07 Eagles team that featured current NHL players Nathan Gerbe, Cory Schneider and Brian Boyle. He then transferred to Babson College where he played parts of three seasons.
Boston College head coach Jerry York said in a statement: "We were extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Corey. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."
Babson College echoed those sentiments in a Tweet saying, "We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Corey Griffin '10. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Griffin Family. There are no words."