GULF SHORES, Alabama — The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that one of its deputies died Sunday while attempting a water rescue of a swimmer in distress on Fort Morgan Road.
Deputy William “Bill” Smith, 57, was a veteran law enforcement officer who served previously with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office seven years ago.
In a statement released Sunday, Baldwin County Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack said Smith, along with another deputy were responding to a call for three swimmers who were in distress. All three swimmers, who have yet to be identified, along with the other deputy, who has been identified as Sydney Wentworth, were being treated as non-life threatening.
“It is with great sadness the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office has to confirm the loss of one of our own,” Mack said in the statement. “Thank you for keeping Deputy Smith’s family and the Sheriff’s Office in your prayers.”
The city of Orange Beach released a statement Monday morning, indicating that Wentworth had been “released from the hospital and is expected to recover….”
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a statement Sunday night after learning of Smith’s death.
“Deputy Smith’s brave and swift response to save the life of another should cause us all to pause and reflect upon the sacrifice of all law enforcement,” Marshall said. “We can never repay Deputy Smith for putting the life of a potential victim ahead of his own. Tonight, we offer our prayers to Deputy Smith’s family and his friends and colleagues in the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.”
Smith leaves behind a wife and two children, according to Marshall’s release.