Return to Article | Print this Page
The Police News
ATF Special Agent Hugh O’Connor Drowns Trying To Assist Boater
Huntsville, AL

Sandy Malone

ATF Special Agent Hugh O’Connor drowned off duty while trying to assist a woman in northern Alabama on July 22.

Huntsville, AL - Bureau of Alcohol Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent Hugh O'Connor drowned off duty while trying to assist a woman in the Tennessee River in northern Alabama.

Marine patrol units told WAFF tht Agent O’Connor jumped off of a boat and into the river at about 5:40 p.m. on July 22 to help a woman retrieve some items that had blown off of her boat.

The special agent failed to surface again after he dove in, and his body was later recovered about 100 yards downstream from where he drowned, near Painted Bluff at the Madison and Marshall County lines, WAFF reported.

Agent O’Connor was a Certified Explosive Specialist Bomb Technician at the National Center for Explosives Training and Research at Redstone Arsenal, AL.com reported.

ATF is saddened to report the death of one of our own. We mourn the loss of Special Agent/ Certified Explosive Specialist Bomb Technician (CESBT) Hugh A. O'Connor. Our thoughts are with the O'Connor family and NCETR. #EOW

— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ)

Memorial Service to Celebrate the Life of Hugh O’Connor, ATF Senior Special Agent, Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 11:00 am CST at Huntsville Botanical Garden (4747 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville, AL)

Traditional Irish Wake will immediately follow at Keegan’s Public House

— Redstone Arsenal (@TeamRedstone)

@ATFHQ #RIP #ATF #EOD #bombtech #SABT RIP ATF Special Agent Hugh O’Connor. You will be Forever Missed.

— J.Hall (@jhallaso)

“It is with deep sorrow that the IABTI has learned that over the weekend Hugh O’Connor passed away. Hugh was a great friend and asset to many in the EOD community. Our deepest condolences to Hugh’s family, friends, ATF and all those who worked with Hugh around the world,” the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI) wrote on its official Facebook page.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of ATF Special Agent Hugh O’Connor, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.