Alabama sheriff’s deputy dies after responding to Gulf Shores water rescue

GULF SHORES, Ala. — An Alabama sheriff’s deputy died late Sunday after responding to a water rescue call in Gulf Shores, authorities said.

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According to WKRG and WPMI, the incident occurred about 6 p.m. local time near the Indie Condos on Dune Drive. Two Baldwin County sheriff’s deputies responded after receiving a report of four swimmers in distress, the news outlets reported.

Following the rescue, the two deputies were rushed to a nearby hospital, where one died, according to WPMI. Two other people – a swimmer and a rescuer – also remain in the hospital, WPMI reported.

Authorities later identified the fallen deputy as 57-year-old William “Bill” Smith, a seven-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, the news outlets reported.

“It is with great sadness that Alabama’s law enforcement community has suffered the loss of another hero. Baldwin County sheriff’s Deputy Bill Smith perished in the line of duty while heroically rescuing a swimmer in distress along Alabama’s Gulf Coast Sunday evening,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement.

“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. 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.”

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