Bridge tragedy prompts outpouring of support

On Thursday Tavaughn Bulgin’s body was found near Felix Neck.



The outpouring for Tavaughn and Tavaris Bulgin continues with nearly $200,000 raised through a GoFundMe as of Friday afternoon. Along with the tremendous outpouring of financial support, the GoFundMe page has more than 67 comments and there are social media posts that overwhelmingly show support for the Bulgin family and their devastating loss.

“Sending love and prayers to the family on their unimaginable loss,” Amy Young wrote on the fundraising page. 

Muriel Evans-Buck wrote that she was “ heartbroken” after hearing about the tragedy while she was on the Vineyard. “My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”

Late Thursday, the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office announced that the body discovered by a shellfisherman at 11:30 am in Sengekontacket Pond was Tavaughn Bulgin, 21, who had been missing since Sunday. 

Massachusetts State Police announced earlier Thursday that a body matching the description of Tavaughn Bulgin was found on the Western edge of the pond. 

Tavaughn has been the subject of an ongoing search since he went missing Sunday night after jumping from the Big Bridge (“Jaws” Bridge) between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs.

The parents of the young men arrived on the Island on Thursday and were greeted by local clergy and police.

Tavaughn Bulgin and his brother Tavaris Bulgin, leapt from the bridge with a group of fellow restaurant workers and, according to a Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office release, “began to struggle in the current” even with “assistance from others.” The two brothers didn’t make it back to shore, according to the release.

Big Bridge, a low-slung bridge straddling an inlet that links Cow Bay and Sengekontacket Pond, is a popular youth jumping spot in the summer months. U.S. Coast Guard, State Police, Edgartown and Oak Bluffs Police, and local fire officials mounted a search for the missing brothers. That search located Tavaris Bulgin at about 6:24 am Monday.  A cause of death has yet to be released. The district attorney’s office release indicates foul play isn’t suspected. 

Fire and law enforcement officials continued searching for Tavaughn Bulgin well into Tuesday without luck. The search was suspended Wednesday due to weather. Divers had been planning to continue searching on Friday, according to Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee.

The two brothers, Jamaican nationals, came to the Vineyard to work at the Oak Bluffs restaurant Nomans. The owner of that restaurant, Doug Abdelnour, set up the fundraising drive. Abdelnour also closed Nomans for two days in light of what befell the brothers.


  1. I am deeply saddened by the loss of these two young men. I pray that God will comfort and sustain their family, friends and the entire MV community in Jesus name!

  2. It still makes my mind race and leaves me confused to has how two perfectly healthy young men can lose there lives from bridge jumping, I don’t know how it played out but God bless those kids and their family.

  3. I am praying that the God of all comfort will undergerd us at this difficult time especially the parents.
    Only God can when we face these situations.

  4. A beautiful memorial to Tavaughn and Tavaris Bulgin which will undoubtedly help support their loved ones in their hour of heartbreaking need.

    Also notable is that today’s USD to JMD exchange rate is $1 USD = $152 JMD. Thus, their $209,297 USD GoFundMe account total today is now providing the Jamaican Bulgin family with $31,724,025.34 JMD to date. That’s an enormous sum which will undoubtedly provide comfort and support for them, and also help their entire community (and beyond). Perhaps they will create educational scholarships in the names of their beloved sons, Tavaugn and Tavaris.

    Prayers of peace for these young men and their loved ones.

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