Late last week, a Black off-duty firefighter lost his life while helping to rescue three girls who were drowning in a river near Michigan’s Belle Isle, according to The Detroit News.
Detroit Fire Sgt. Sivad Johnson ended up going missing after saving the three girls from drowning in the Detroit River Friday night. He was off-duty at the time and jumped into action when he noticed the plight of the girls. He gave his keys and phone to his 10-year-old daughter Hayden and sprung to the rescue.
After saving the girls, Johnson never reappeared and after a six-hour search, the Detroit Police Department Dive Team found the body of the 48-year-old father about 1 p.m. Saturday, said the deputy commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department Dave Fornell. Although he was off duty when the incident occurred, Johnson’s heroic sacrifice will be labeled as a line-of-duty death with the department, Fornell said.
HERO! Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of @DetroitFire Sgt Sivad Johnson who, while off-duty, drowned saving three young girls. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” – John 15:13 – RIP Sir pic.twitter.com/oTplWGCU1v
— Toledo Fire & Rescue (@ToledoFire) August 23, 2020
“He’s a firefighter, he saw the girls in distress and jumped in. He’s done that his entire career,” the deputy commissioner said. “Something happened, and it’s unfortunate to have lost one of our own that way.”
He also stated that another person and a nearby boat assisted in the three girls’ rescue.
“From the civilian we talked to last night, there were a lot of rip currents and the sergeant went out into the water. One girl was rescued by the civilian and the boat picked up the two other girls.”
“It is believed the father may have been dragged underwater by the rip-current and no one noticed,” Michigan State Police said.