Hero father, 50, drowns in the Gulf of Mexico while rescuing his only daughter and her friend from riptide

Hero dad: Kevin Chitwood, 50, has drowned while trying to save his daughter (pictured together left and right) and her friend from a rip current in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Kevin Chitwood, 50, of Kentucky, was vacationing in Alabama with his wife and daughter when he drowned on Monday 
  • Officials say Chitwood jumped in the ocean when his daughter and a friend got caught in rip current 
  • He was pulled under, but his daughter and her friend made it out alive 
  • Chitwood was a member of the Turners Circus in Louisville, Kentucky, where his 14-year-old daughter is a performer 

A married father-of-one from Kentucky has drowned while rescuing his daughter and her friend from a riptide in the Gulf of Mexico.

Kevin Chitwood, 50, of Louisville, succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the accident that occurred near Fort Morgan, Alabama.

According to officials in Baldwin County, Alabama, Chitwood was on a beach vacation with his family when his 14-year-old daughter and another girl got caught in a rip current at around 7pm last Monday,

The father and his wife, Bobbie, jumped in the water and attempted to rescue the two girls, but Mr Chitwood was pulled under by the strong tide.

By the time Fort Morgan firefighters responded to the beach, all four people were out of the water and Kevin Chitwood was receiving CPR, reported the station LEX18.


The 50-year-old Kentucky resident was then rushed to South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, where he passed away from his injuries at around 3pm on Tuesday.

Chitwood’s wife, daughter and the girl’s friend were all treated and released from the hospital.

AL.com reported that a preliminary autopsy performed on Kevin Chitwood showed the cause of death was a drowning.

Chitwood was a member of the Turners Circus in Louisville, where his daughter is a performer. The group posted a tribute on its Facebook page Tuesday, mourning the ‘hardworking’ dad who was ‘a friend to all.’