Grandfather Dies Attempting to Save Young Boy Who Fell Into the Saginaw Bay

A 62-year-old man has died after trying to save his grandson in the Saginaw Bay on Saturday, July 16.

Police say James George David was with his 32-year-old son, the father of four-year-old and nine-year-old boys about two and a half miles northeast of the Finn Road Boat Launch in Hampton Township around 4:00 p.m. According to a statement made by the father, a large boat passed behind their boat, creating a large wake and knocking the youngest boy into the water, who was wearing a life jacket.

The father, who was not wearing a life jacket, immediately jumped in after him but struggled in rough water. David, also not wearing a life jacket, then also jumped in to help the boy. However, the rough water separated the men.

The nine-year-old called 9-1-1 from the boat. Dispatchers were able to ping the boat’s location via the cell phone. The boy then flagged down a passing boat to help. The occupants pulled the young boy and his father from the water.

The father says he was unconscious for a time as he had swallowed a lot of water. The second boat’s occupants also tied a rope to David, who was unconscious in the water. First responders attempted CPR on David before he was taken to McLaren Bay Region, where he later died.

The Bay County Sheriff’s Department, Hampton Township and Bay City Public Safety, Bangor Township Fire, the US Coast Guard and the Michigan DNR assisted at the scene.