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Former Ga. FF dies rescuing swimmers caught in rip current

Banks County Fire & EMS colleagues said Ritchie Alford spotted two swimmers in the rip current and went in to save them


Banks County Fire & EMS

By Bill Carey

BANKS COUNTY, Ga. — A former Georgia firefighter died after rescuing two swimmers caught in the rip current off the Florida coast on June 15.

Ritchie Alford was in Panama City Beach and spotted the swimmers in the rip current. His colleagues at Banks County Fire & EMS said that after assisting the swimmers, Alford was unable to return to shore, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

“Unfortunately, Richie was not able to make it back to shore,” the fire department posted on Facebook. “Richie died doing what he loved which was helping others in their time of need. He is a true hero.”

Alford had been a Banks County firefighter for several years. His colleagues stated he was known for his love of the job and the community.