Another swimmer dies in water off Fort Morgan


GULF SHORES — The rough waters off the coast of Fort Morgan claimed another victim with the death of a vacationer from North Alabama in the midmorning hours Wednesday, June 9.

According to information released on social media by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, investigators and fire units responded to the area of Buchanan Court East on Highway 180 at approximately 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in reference to a swimmer in distress.

According to reports, the swimmer, who was identified by the Baldwin County Coroner’s Office as 63-year-old James Campbell of Athens, Alabama, was pulled from the water by members of Fort Morgan Fire Rescue.

He was transported by helicopter to an emergency room, but did not survive, according to information provided on social media by the BCSO.

While there is no flag system on the private beaches of Fort Morgan, double red flags continue to fly along the public beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and several statements of dangerous rip currents have been issued by the Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency over the last several days.

Campbell was the second victim to succumb to heavy rip currents off Fort Morgan over the past week.

Deputy William “Bill” Smith died Sunday, June 6 responding to a swimmer in distress call in the area of Dune Drive.

Smith and Deputy Sydney Wentworth were on a routine patrol at around 6 p.m. June 6 when they responded to a 9-1-1 call regarding several swimmers in distress.

Wentworth and two others, Adrienne Korecky, a visitor to the area, and Donte Reed, a summer employee at Fort Morgan Beach Rentals, were pulled from the water and survived.

Volunteers with Fort Morgan Fire Rescue, Gulf Shores Fire Rescue and a crew with the Alabama Coast Guard, assisted with the June 6 rescue.

The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department continues to investigate Smith’s death, said Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack Jr., with the Gulf Shores Police Department serving as an assisting agency.