FORT MORGAN, Ala. (WALA) -- A Baldwin County sheriff's deputy died Sunday night after he went into the water to save three swimmers in distress.

A law enforcement source told FOX10 News two deputies were patrolling the area when they spotted the swimmers in trouble in the Gulf.

According to officials, Deputy Bill Smith died during the rescue attempt, the other deputy is hospitalized and expected to survive.

The swimmers rescued from the Gulf are also expected to survive.

Deputies Patrol Ft. Morgan

(March 26, 2021) Deputies Sydney Wentworth and Bill Smith organize lifesaving equipment  before going on patrol

In March, Deputy Smith was featured in a FOX10 News story about Baldwin County deputies assigned to patrol the Fort Morgan peninsula and be ready to respond to any calls for assistance or emergencies.

Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack said Smith was a seven-year veteran of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.

BCSO Deputy Sydney Wentworth

BCSO Deputy Sydney Wentworth 

The City of Orange Beach on Monday morning released a statement indicating that a fellow deputy who also responded has been released from the hospital.

The statement reads: "Condolences to family & friends of Baldwin County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Smith who died Sunday while responding to swimmers in distress on the Fort Morgan peninsula. BCSO Deputy Sydney Wentworth has been released from hospital and is expected to recover after responding as well."

Recommended for you

(1) comment


I am so sorry the world lost another good soul. The Bible says God takes the good so they don't have to suffer through the time to come. (Isaiah 57:2) I'm sure the people who were lucky enough to know him are heart broken.

"Greater love hath no man than this; to give his life for his brother." <3

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.