FOLEY - Foley Mayor John Koniar presented the Carnegie Medal to the family of Bradley Eugene Murphy on Monday, July 16, and gave a proclamation in honor of Murphy naming him as a Carnegie Hero.
“The proclamation tonight is well-deserved,” said Koniar. “It brought the family back a lot of pain and that was a sad thing to see, but the honor was well-deserved.”
Murphy was posthumously awarded the Carnegie Medal in March. He lost his life while attempting to save a 12-year-old boy and rescue Steven Wahler from drowning in Gulf Shores on October 9, 2017. The boy was playing in rough surf in the Gulf of Mexico when he was carried approximately 100 feet from shore by a rip current. Murphy, 21, and Wahler, 47, were alerted by the boy’s mother of the situation. Wahler entered the water first but was separated from his target by a wave, carried farther out himself. The boy’s mother reached him and began pulling him to shore as Murphy entered the water in an attempt to reach Wahler. The men were pulled underwater as Murphy reached Wahler. The boy and his mother were able to reach the shore, unharmed.
Wahler’s body was recovered from the water two hours later, while Murphy’s body was recovered the following day.
Murphy is the Carnegie Hero Fund’s 10,064th hero. The Fund was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1904 after he became moved by the efforts of Selwyn Taylor and Daniel Lyle during the Harwick Mine disaster in January 1904, when the two men gave their lives in rescue attempts after the mine collapsed. Since its creation, the Carnegie Medal has been presented to now over 11,000 individuals in recognition of their outstanding heroism, or, an act of lifesaving done at risk to the rescuer. More than $40 million in grants have been given to the awardees or their survivors, including scholarship aid, continuing assistance, and death benefits.