Friend of man who inspired ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ dies in diving accident


A 27-year-old man died in a Nantucket diving accident, hours after he raised $100,000 for a Lou Gehrig’s disease charity in honor of his friend who inspired the "ice-bucket challenge" viral sensation.

Nantucket Police tell The Boston Globe that Corey Griffin dove into the water from the "Juice Guys" building at around 2 a.m. Saturday. An off-duty lifeguard was nearby and recovered Griffin, who was pronounced dead at a hospital at 3 a.m.

Griffin’s family says he was friends with former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, whose family and friends launched the ice-bucket challenge to raise awareness and funds for charity. Twenty-nine-year-old Frates was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease, also known as ALS, in 2012. The movement has taken off around the country recently, with numerous athletes taking part in the challenge, in which they dunk a bucket of ice water on their head, challenge others to do the same (usually within 24 hours), record the event, and then post the video to social media.

According to the ALS Association’s website, the organization has raised more than $13 million — compared to $1.7 million over the same period a year ago — and added nearly 260,000 donors as of Sunday night thanks to the movement.

Shortly after raising the $100,000, Griffin phoned his father Robert, ecstatic with the news.

"He was the happiest guy in the world," Robert Griffin told The Boston Globe of his son’s call. "He called me last night and told me he was in paradise."

The Boston Globe reported that family and friends said Corey Griffin was in Nantucket to do more fund-raising for ALS research, tortured, his father said, by Frates’ battle with the incurable neurodegenerative disease.

According to Boston College’s website, Griffin played on the Eagles’ 2006-07 ice hockey team before transferring to Babson College.

— Information from NBC News and The Boston Globe was used in this report