Owensboro Man Drowns Saving Child Caught in Hurricane Nate's Residual Surf

Rain and choppy surf in Orange Beach, Ala. ahead of Hurricane Nate.
Credit Alex Aubuchon, Alabama Public Radio

Update: Authorities have suspended the search for the second of two men after a body was found on a beach near Gulf Shores. Officials haven't yet identified the remains, but had been searching for Bradley Murphy of Mobile.


An Owensboro man drowned Monday afternoon while trying to save a child caught in Hurricane Nate’s residual rough surf off the Alabama coast.

According to LinkedIn, Steven Wahler was the IT-Manager at the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer. The newspaper has confirmed his death.

Baldwin County Sheriff's Office says in a release, officers responded to a call of a possible drowning. They found upon arrival four adults in the gulf waters attempting to help a 12-year-old boy. The child was in distress and had been swept out into deeper waters by a possible rip current.

Two of the rescuers returned the boy to safety, however 47-year-old Steven Wahler was located by the U.S. Coast Guard and upon returning to shore was pronounced dead.

The other rescuer, 22-year-old Bradley Murphy of Mobile, Alabama, is missing. The Coast Guard and other rescue teams are searching for Murphy.

This story has been updated, and may be updated further.