Bar and restaurant employees in Halifax are mourning the loss of a very close friend.

A man some call an icon in the Halifax service industry, Steve Kinch, died Sunday in the Cayman Islands.

For the past year, Kinch had been living in the Cayman Islands where he was bartending.

A Cayman Island media outlet reports the 43-year-old Dartmouth man was boating with a friend Sunday afternoon when he jumped into the waters off the coast of the Grand Cayman and never came back up.

Reports say police divers recovered Kinch's body about an hour later from the 45-foot ocean floor.

"There's thousands of people in Halifax, Dartmouth, the rest of Canada – I'm sure in the Caymans – that are just completely broken-hearted today because we lost a truly great person and one of my best friends," says Halifax bartender Harris Foley.

Kinch began bartending in Halifax more than 20 years ago. During that time he earned a reputation from his customers and others in the industry as one of the city's most popular bartenders.

Kinch worked at a number of Halifax establishments like The Dome and Mexi Cali Rosa's.

His former patrons are reflecting on the life of a man they say was more than just a bartender.

"He just took the extra time, always took the extra time to get to know everybody, especially his regular guys," bar patron Michael Sears tells CTV News. "He just always took care of people, man."

Bartender Derek Chant says Kinch helped set a standard for hospitality and service in the city.

"A lot of how we do things in Halifax in the industry to keep people coming back is due to Steve Kinch," says Chant.

Foley believes the service industry lost a legend.

"He lived his life absolutely to the fullest in every way, in the best way possible."

With files from CTV Atlantic's Garreth MacDonald