Carnegie Hero Bradley Eugene Murphy

Tami Wahler, right, the widow of posthumously awarded Carnegie Hero Steven B. Wahler, spoke to audience members at the Owensboro (Ky.) City Commission meeting held June 4, 2019.

“Our hearts are full of love and pride tonight,” she said.

Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson, left, presented her husband’s Carnegie Medal to her and declared June 4 Steven B. Wahler Day in the city.

Wahler, a 47-year-old IT manager from Owensboro, and Bradley Eugene Murphy, a 21-year old landscaper of Elberta, Ala., both died during an Oct. 9, 2017, rescue of a 12-year-old boy who was carried by a rip current 100 feet from shore near Gulf Shores, Ala. Ocean conditions included rough surf and waves 5 feet high breaking near shore when Wahler entered the water with a boogie board and swam to the boy, placing him on the board. Wahler began pushing the board toward shore, but a breaking wave separated the two. The boy’s mother, also using a boogie board, reached her son and guided him back to shore. Murphy, who had also entered the water, swam toward Wahler and appeared to reach him before both men submerged.

“It’s the pride of our family to know that he would give his life to someone else,” Tami Wahler said. “And we’re thrilled to know that the little boy lived.”


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