Bobby Lynn Arnold died helping to rescue Emily A. Nevil from drowning in Trinity, Texas, on June 29, 2016.
Emily, 7, while boating with her family, fell from the bow platform of a pontoon boat into Lake Livingston. She struggled to stay afloat in the water.
Arnold, 36, metal worker of Onalaska, Texas, was on the boat and witnessed Emily’s fall.
Arnold jumped from the rear of the boat into the lake and swam to her. Emily’s mother and aunt also jumped into the water and swam toward Emily. The aunt tried to reach Emily but the current thwarted her efforts. Arnold grasped Emily about her torso and held her above the water’s surface. Arnold handed her to her mother, who had by then reached them, and she also held Emily above the water.
They took turns holding her until the mother submerged and was taken away from them by current, later reaching the shore to safety.
Arnold held her until a man in a pontoon boat arrived. The man took Emily from Arnold, and Arnold submerged and never resurfaced.
Emily required hospital treatment for contusions to the majority of her body, and she was monitored for possible water inhalation. She was treated and released, and she recovered. A dive team later responded and recovered Arnold’s body about eight hours later. He had drowned.