LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville man who rescued his daughter from the Gulf of Mexico has died.
Firefighters were called to Fort Morgan Beach in Alabama just before 7 p.m. Monday for a swimmer in distress. A man was receiving CPR when emergency responders arrived.
A friend of Kevin Chitwood told WAVE 3 News Chitwood was trying to save his daughter from the strong tide when he went under.
Chitwood was taken to South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, where he died about 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Baldwin County Coroner.
A family friend said Chitwood's daughter, another child and her mother were also taken to the hospital and have since been released.
The Chitwood family is so loved in Louisville. Kevin's wife, Bobbie, is the head decorator for the Plehn's Bakery Family.
Kevin Chitwood, a University of Kentucky graduate and 1985 graduate of Trinity High School, also served as a coach for St. Albert the Great. Many of his friends are in Florida dealing with the tragedy. Longtime friends like Tom Furlong drove to be with him.
"We went to the hospital and spent about 8 hours yesterday with his wife and with Kevin at his bedside."
Kevin Chitwood's countless friends want people to know what a kind, funny, selfless human being the community has lost.
Trinity high classmate Gene Stein said, "Going into the water with no regard for his own safety, that tells you pretty much everything you know about who he was as a person."
His friend Tres Teague couldn't agree more saying, "I teach my kids about everyday heroes, it's not the sports stars, it's the real people in life that are the heroes and God, he was that."
Kevin Chitwood was also a member of the Louisville Turners Club. President Cindy Law said, "Turners has been blessed to know and love Kevin Chitwood. He was a loving husband, father and friend and his passing was tragic and took a true gem from all of us."
The Chitwoods are members of St. Albert the Great Catholic Church in Louisville.
"On behalf of the entire Saint Albert the Great Parish community, I want to extend my deepest sympathy to Bobbie and Josie on the tragic death of their dear husband and father, Kevin," the church's pastor, Rev. David Harris said. "Kevin was an active and helpful member of our parish and school communities, and he will be greatly missed. As we pray for the repose of his soul, we also pray for consolation and comfort for his family and many friends."