News Release: 6/7/2021 BCSO
From the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office
Media Release June 7, 2021
It is with a heavy heart that the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office shares the unfortunate news that Deputy William “Bill” Smith paid the ultimate sacrifice and laid down his life for another.
On June 6, 2021, around 6:00 p.m., Baldwin County deputies were dispatched to the area of Dune Drive in the Fort Morgan community in reference to several swimmers in distress. Based on interviews of several witnesses we know that a beach attendant for Fort Morgan Beach Rentals was finishing his shift when he was notified of two female swimmers who were struggling in the water. The attendant entered the water to help them.
What the attendant did not know is that one of the females was Deputy Sydney Wentworth, who had entered the water to rescue Ms. Korecky. Deputy Wentworth swam out to Ms. Korecky and despite the rough waters was able to maintain her composure and successfully rescue Ms. Korecky.
The beach attendant was nearing the area of Deputy Wentworth and Ms. Korecky when he himself began to drown. The attendant recalled being grabbed by someone who told him to hold on to a rescue buoy and swim to shore. The person who grabbed him was Deputy Bill Smith.
As Deputy Smith was towing the beach attendant to shore, Deputy Smith was overcome by the heavy seas. Deputy Smith went underwater and began to struggle in the rough water and strong current. Deputy Smith eventually stopped swimming and had to be rescued from the water.
Deputy Smith and the beach attendant were both pulled to shore by Logan Lambert of the Gulf Shores Fire Department. Lambert and other first responders were able to get everyone out of the water. Deputy Wentworth was transported to South Baldwin Hospital and Adrienne Korecky was transported to Springhill Hospital in Mobile, Alabama.
Deputy Bill Smith was transported to the South Baldwin Regional Medical Center’s Freestanding Emergency Room. Unfortunately, Deputy Bill Smith could not be revived.
Deputies Smith has been with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office for seven years and previously served with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Smith was assigned to and played an essential role in starting up our Beach Patrol Unit which serves the Fort Morgan Community. He had been assigned to the Patrol and Criminal Investigations Divisions prior to his current assignment. Bill had recently retired from SWAT after proudly serving five years with the unit.
Prior to his law enforcement career, Deputy Smith was a firefighter with the Dekalb County Fire Department in Georgia, where he retired as a Deputy Chief after thirty years of service.
Deputy Smith was a very passionate public servant who was an integral part of our family. He will be sorely missed. Our heart goes out to Deputy Smith’s family as they work through this incredibly sad time.