ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) -Orange Beach Police say a Montgomery Police officer drowned the Cotton Bayou Beach Access Thursday, July 3.
Police say around 4:30 p.m. members of the Orange Beach Police Department and the Orange Beach Fire/Rescue responded to reports of a swimmer in distress at the Cotton Bayou Beach Access.
According to witnesses, the victim was swimming with family members when he got caught in a rip current, being pulled under and taken about 80ft from the beach. He was underwater approximately two minutes before being pulled out by Orange Beach lifeguards.
He was identified as Rian J Rider, a Lieutenant with the Montgomery Police Department. He was air lifted by helicopter from the scene to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola where he was later pronounced dead.
His family released the following statement:
“Our family is saddened by the loss of Rian. He was a dedicated law enforcement officer with the Montgomery Police Department and spent his career helping those who were victims of domestic violence. More importantly, he was a beloved son, bother and uncle to his nephew Sean and niece Harley, who worshiped him. Rian was funny, sweet and thoughtful. He will be deeply missed. We ask for privacy over the next few days as we celebrate Rian’s life and mourn his tragic death.”