Crews have recovered Detroit Fire Sgt. Sivad Johnson’s body after he went missing while helping save three girls from drowning in the Detroit River.
“The Detroit Police Department Dive Team found the body of the 48-year-old father Saturday around 1 p.m. after a six-hour search,” according to Detroit Fire Department Deputy Commissioner Dave Fornell, the Detroit News reported.
Following the recovery, the Detroit Fire Department changed their Facebook cover photo to a badge with a mourning band on it:
Fornell said despite Johnson being off-duty when the incident occurred, his sacrifice would be labeled a line-of-duty death.
The News report continued:
The incident occurred Friday when Michigan State Police dispatchers received a call about 9 p.m. from a 10-year-old girl saying she had lost her father, the agency said. Troopers, state Department of Natural Resources officers, and city firefighters responded to the scene near the Detroit Yacht Club.
Johnson and his daughter had been walking near the Yacht Club when they heard the three girls screaming for help.
“He’s a firefighter, he saw the girls in distress and jumped in. He’s done that his entire career,” Fornell recalled, adding that a civilian and a boat assisted in the 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,” he stated.
Once the children were safe with their parents, Johnson’s daughter realized her father was missing and called 911.
“It is believed the father may have been dragged underwater by the rip-current and no one noticed,” Michigan State Police explained.
Reporter Kimberly Craig shared a photo of Johnson to her Facebook page Saturday with a caption that read, “To bravely do or bravely die”:
“Yes this man truly is a HERO! And should be Honored! Prayers Comfort and love to his family!” one Facebook user commented.
As of Sunday afternoon, a GoFundMe page set up for Johnson’s family had raised $10,325 of its $50,000 goal.
“Never knowing this amazing man and father I know he did not hesitate a second to save others knowing his life might be lost. His children are no doubt mourning but know that God chose their father for a greater purpose,” a donor wrote.