Alum dies while saving child in Gulf Shores

Mason Davis

Alum Steven Wahler, from Owensboro, Kentucky drowned in the Gulf of Mexico this past Monday while saving a child.

The water off the Alabama coast was still rough after Hurricane Nate had blown through. There were several warnings out in the area regarding the danger.

According to a call received by Coast Guard Sector Mobile on Monday, two men entered the water to help a person in distress.

The person in distress, a 12-year-old boy, was rescued. However, neither men made it back to shore.

A Coast Guard boat crew recovered Wahler’s body on Tuesday. The other man, Bradley Murphy of Elbert, Alabama, has not been found.

Wahler, 47, graduated from WKU in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in computer science. He worked for Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro since 1994, 18 years of which was spent as the paper’s IT manager.

Wahler was a classic car enthusiast. He owned several Mustangs he would work on frequently. He enjoyed the water, and would often vacation by the beach or lakeside.

Wahler has been described by those who knew him as having a witty sense of humor, and being helpful and kind.

Mike Weafer, publisher of the Messenger-Inquirer, said he knew Wahler well and worked with him.

“It was in his nature to help people, so it wasn’t a surprise to the people that knew him that he would go in to try to rescue that young boy,” Weafer said.

Wahler is survived by his wife Tami Bartos Wahler and his children Ashley, 13, and Brandon, 16. He was a member of the First General Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky. The funeral will be held Monday, Oct. 16.