by: Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

GULF SHORES, Ala. – A Kentucky man who jumped into waters off the coast of Alabama to save his struggling daughter and her friend drowned Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

Kevin Chitwood, 50, of Louisville, was taken by a rip current near Fort Morgan as his family vacationed in Alabama, WHAS reported.

A preliminary report from Baldwin County investigators said Chitwood was trying to rescue his daughter and her friend, who were in distress, when he was swept up around 7 p.m. Monday by the swiftly flowing water, reported.

He died around 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to the news site.

Friends and family members took to social media to mourn Chitwood.

A representative for the Louisville Turner Circus said Chitwood worked in a variety of roles for the circus.

“Our hearts are impossibly broken,” the circus said in a statement. “Kevin was a friend to all, and a hardworking member of our club. Whether he was backstage at the circus, filming a routine, lifting his daughter in the air, working the snack bar at the pool, managing the pool, painting the pool or any other of the tasks he took on – he had a smile on his face.”

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