Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan rip currents dangerous; Louisville man dead after saving daughter

Published 9:33 am Thursday, April 6, 2017

GULF SHORES, Ala. — Dangerous surf conditions are causing problems on the Alabama coast during spring break and one person has died as a result.

At Fort Morgan, near Gulf Shores in Alabama, a father died saving his daughter from the waters.

Kevin Chitwood, 50, died Tuesday afternoon, according to WHAS, a day after authorities say he was swept up by a rip tide off the coast of Fort Morgan. Witnesses say his daughter and a friend were in distress when he went in to help them.

Email newsletter signup

Baldwin County Coroner Stan Vinson told WHAS that Chitwood was transported to the ICU at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center on Monday around 7 p.m. He reportedly died around 3 p.m. on Tuesday. The cause of death was drowning.

Red flags are flying to warn people about hazardous rip currents that can quickly pull swimmers out to sea.

But in Gulf Shores, lifeguards still have had to rescue at least five people since Saturday. Beach safety director Scott Smothers tells WALA-TV that one man had to be resuscitated but is doing OK.

Lifeguard Jordan Russell says he had to help a 6-year-old boy and the boy’s sister on Tuesday after both got pulled away from the beach.

The National Weather Service says there’s a high risk of rip currents from Dauphin Island all the way east to Destin, Florida. Conditions are supposed to improve by the weekend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.