Jeremy Brilliant/Eyewitness News
Carmel - A father drowned during spring break while trying to save his children from a riptide.
Gary Bormett, 40, was on spring break in Dauphin Island, Alabama when police say he died in the ocean.
"They left, I think Friday," said neighbor Nancy Kimack, who got the news of Bormett's death from a friend. "They were only down there Saturday and Sunday I got the phone call."
Kimack says Bormett's children were in the water and got swept out about 100 feet from shore.
"He went out to get them and got pulled under," she said.
Bormett was able to save his two young children, but after a kayaker pulled him from the water, a Coast Guard ship took him to the shore. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
News of the accident spread quickly. Neighbors in the Laurel Lakes subdivision in Carmel found it difficult to comprehend.
"What a freak accident. Someone so close, you know, and a life just taken in an instant and for the family and kids to see that. How horrifying. I mean, it's traumatic," said neighbor Karin Gasper.
MaryEllen Bormett is a well-known Realtor in Carmel. Her husband of 14 years worked at Dow AgroSciences.
"Just a really tight, close family," Gasper said. "They did a lot of things together and Gary and MaryEllen did things together. Just a really good family."
The Bormetts are active parishioners at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and MaryEllen is president of the neighborhood's homeowners association.
"She'll have a lot of support, there's no doubt," Gasper said.
The family is still in Alabama making arrangements to come home in the coming days. Funeral arrangements are still pending.