James G. David

A 62-year-old grandfather drowned July 16, 2022, while attempting to save his 4-year-old grandson from the same fate in the Saginaw Bay off of Essexville, Michigan. Kolton R. David, who was wearing a life jacket, fell off the back of a fishing boat into the bay. His father, who was also aboard the boat, jumped off the boat after him. Kolton was panicking and repeatedly attempted to climb onto his dad, who struggled in the water. James G. David, a sales associate of Saginaw, Michigan, entered the water and swam 200 feet to Kolton, whom he took from the father, instructing him to return to the boat. David and Kolton were separated. From 800 feet away, two men in another boat saw Kolton’s brother, 9, jumping up and down and waving his arms on the boat that was still moving away from the scene at a trolling speed. They went to the scene and retrieved Kolton’s dad and then Kolton from the water at least 15 minutes after they had entered. They found David about 10 feet north of Kolton. He had drowned. By then a marine patrol boat had arrived and assisted in bringing Kolton, his father and brother, and David to shore. Kolton was taken by ambulance to a hospital for observation. He inhaled water into his lungs and had difficulty breathing and a cough. He recovered one month later. David could not be revived.