Page Pate, a prominent Georgia attorney and regular CNN commentator, passed away on Sunday afternoon, his law company confirmed to the network. He was 55.
Glynn County Fire-Rescue acting Chief Vinnie DiCristofalo told CNN that Pate drowned after being taken out to sea by a rip current at St. Simons Island, Georgia.
A call came in at around 2:00 p.m. concerning “two swimmers in difficulty” near Gould’s Inlet beach, and according to DiCristofalo, those swimmers turned out to be Pate and his son.
DiCristofalo reported that while the water rescue crew was en route to the area, they received word that “the adolescent victim reached shore safely.”
Pate was plucked from the ocean by a rescue vessel and sent to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to DiCristofalo.
As DiCristofalo points out, Gould’s Inlet beach is notorious for its rip currents.
“I don’t have direct information whether they were together and got drawn out,” DiCristofalo said.
Pate has more than 25 years of experience as a trial lawyer, according to his legal practice, Pate, Johnson & Church. In addition to being a “founder member of the Georgia Innocence Project,” he was also a “member of the Federal and Atlanta Bar Associations, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and numerous other organizations dedicated to improving justice and the legal profession.”
Pate is survived by his wife and two children.
The statement from his legal company read, “Some of Page’s greatest times were on excursions with his sons, whether long hikes on the West Coast or taking in Nascar races.”
In 1994, he received a law degree with honors from the University of Georgia.
Many local and national media outlets, including CNN, relied on Pate’s expertise as a criminal defense and constitutional law attorney to comment on high-profile cases.
In a statement, the GACDL expressed its members’ “in disbelief and profound sorrow at the news of Page Pate’s loss. Members of the GACDL family offer their condolences to his loved ones at this time. Page was an enormously impressive lawyer. According to the Georgia Innocence Project, he joined the board of directors in 2018 and has served for “the past many years” as a member of the group “in both the board’s executive committee and public relations committee chair positions.
He was a “fierce advocate for the criminally accused and unjustly convicted,” according to a statement released by the group in his honor.
Page was “always prepared to give anything he could to help, whether it was a personal concern or a professional matter, and never asking for anything in return,” the group added.