Former Brundidge resident drowns

Published 11:08 pm Monday, August 16, 2010

Brundidge native John Bradley Richards drowned in the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City Beach on Saturday afternoon.

According to The Walton Sun, Richards, 41, was swimming shortly after 3:30 p.m. near the Beachbreak by the Sea Motel when he became distressed.

Emergency responders pulled him back to the shore and he was transported to Bay Medical Center where he later died.

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Authorities said double-red flags were flying all day along the Gulf beaches.

“From what we understand from some of those who were there, the red flags had been lowered,” said Lee Outlaw, a cousin. “Bradley was snorkeling in waist-deep water around 3:30. He was an excellent swimmer and experienced in the water sport. He was in great physical shape. His wife, Kendra, was taking photographs of him, of the beaches and the sea gulls when he was apparently pulled under by a rip tide.”

Richards, of Mooresville, N.C., was visiting family in Brundidge and he and his wife had ridden down to the beach for the weekend.

He was employed by Microsoft in Charlotte, North Carolina and had been with the company for 10 years.

Outlaw said Richards was a liaison for the company and traveled across the United States and in Europe and Asia.

“Bradley was a Renaissance man,” Outlaw said.

“He was an amateur photographer, astronomer, mathematician – so many things caught his interest. He created a family blog that went back 40 years and set it all to music.

“Bradley will be missed, not only by our family, but by the many whose lives he touched. There’s no limit to what he could have done. This is a tremendous loss.”

Richards is the son of John Henry and Shirley Richards of Brundidge.

He and his wife, Kendra, have one daughter who attends college in North Carolina.