Carmel Man Drowns Trying To Save Children

Family Was Vacationing In Coastal Alabama

A Carmel man drowned Sunday as he tried to save his two children who were struggling against a Gulf Coast undertow in Alabama, authorities said.

Gary A. Bormett, 40, was pronounced dead shortly after a kayaker and the Coast Guard retrieved his body about 100 feet from a Dauphin Island, Ala., fishing pier, authorities said.

Bormett, who was vacationing with his family at the resort town, entered the Gulf of Mexico to help his children, who were having difficulty while swimming, authorities said. Callers told authorities that a man had gone under and did not resurface, according to the Press-Register, of Mobile, Ala.

A Coast Guard representative told the paper that a kayaker found the man's body and held it until the Coast Guard arrived.

Bormett's children, ages 7 and 10, made it safely to shore, according to Dauphin Island Police Chief George Goodwin.

Bormett had worked at Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis.

"Dow AgroSciences regrets the passing of Gary Bormett who was a valued employee for 19 years most recently leading North America Regulatory," the company said in a statement. "At this time, our thoughts and concerns are with Gary's family and his loved ones."

In Carmel on Tuesday, one of the Bormetts' neighbors, Julie Young, said Gary Bormett was "one of the nicest people we've ever met."

"He died a hero, saving his kids. That says a lot right there," she said. "He will be greatly missed."

The children attend West Clay Elementary School, which is on spring break. Grief counselors will be made available to the school's students on Monday, when the break ends, the school's principal said.