Baldwin County Sheriff’s Deputy William “Bill” Smith has laid down his life while rescuing a swimmer off Alabama’s Gulf Coast.
According to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, on the evening of June 6, Smith and another deputy responded to a call of a distressed swimmer. They immediately dove in to help the individual.
The officers were able to save the swimmer’s life, but Smith didn’t make it.
“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,” said Marshall. “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.”
The Alabama Law Enforcement Memorial Page on Facebook honored the veteran officer. Smith, 57, was a retired Georgia firefighter before joining the force.
“Tonight, we are heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of Deputy William “Bill” Smith of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office in the line of duty,” Shelby County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook.
“We hold close our brothers and sisters at the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Smith’s family during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this terrible tragedy including those that continue to recover from the rescue today. Rest easy, Deputy Smith. Thank you for your service.”
In Massachusetts, another officer drowned in an effort to save a young boy.
According to an NBC News report, Officer Manny Familia of the Worcester Police Department drowned after he and four colleagues jumped into a pond to rescue the 14-year-old boy.
When officers made it back to shore, they realized that Familia was missing.
Tragically, the boy and Familia drowned that day. Nearly an hour later divers were able to locate the bodies of the teenager and Familia, who were pronounced dead.
“This is the type of person that Manny was,” Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty said at the news conference, “—someone who’d lay down his life for someone else’s child.”
Familia spent 5 years serving the community in Worcester, and is survived by a wife and two children.