FORT MORGAN, Ala. (WKRG) — Donte Reed was finishing up his beach attendant shift in Fort Morgan when he said someone came up to him and asked if he was a lifeguard – because it looked like two people needed help out in the water.
“It was instinctive, I just jumped into the water,” Reed said.
He identifies himself as a strong swimmer. But Sunday, the Gulf was stronger.
“I flipped eight times underwater. It was like every time I could get up I was pulled right back down,” he said.
Someone from the beach called 911, and that’s when Deputy Bill Smith went to save Reed. From his hospital bed, Reed told us what happened.
“Another wave came up and he popped up, and all I saw was his hand wave. Then another wave came up. Then he hit the distress button on his chest. And it was lighting up. And I didn’t know what to think, so I grabbed him,” he said. “He had a buoy out… He was holding on to it still, so I was just grabbing onto him and we were both trying.. well I was trying to swim and drag him to shore.”
Gulf Shores firefighter Logan Lambert was the one who ultimately pulled Reed and Smith to shore. After about an hour of CPR, Smith was pronounced dead at the freestanding medical clinic in Gulf Shores, according to Sheriff Hoss Mack.
“I appreciate everything he did for me,” said Reed. “It was just, it was life-changing seeing someone just come out there helping a random person. I mean I was doing the same thing for him, but he has children he has a whole family but the way he just did it without a second thought is just completely out of this world.”