OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - 47-year-old Steven Wahler of Owensboro, who died trying to save a child in 2017 has been awarded a Carnegie Hero Medal.
A 12-year-old boy was playing in rough surf in the Gulf of Mexico when a rip current took him 100 feet from shore with water over his head.
The boy’s mother asked Wahler, who was an IT manager, and another man to help rescue her son.
Wahler, with a boogie board, swam out to the boy and put him on the board.
He pushed the board toward shore but a breaking wave separated the two, and Wahler was taken further from shore.
The boy’s mother, also using a boogie board, reached her son and guided him back to shore.
Another man, 21-year-old Bradley Murphy, swam after Wahler and appeared to reach him before they both went under.
The boy and his mother made it to the shore and the boy wasn’t injured. Rescuers recovered Wahler and Murphy later. They both had drowned.
Steven Wahler, Bradley Murphy and 17 others received the award.
The medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree.