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Sandy Hurricane Lifeguard Hero Drowns While Surfing in Puerto Rico

Home - by - December 25, 2012 - 17:00 America/New_York - 5 Comments


A 23-year-old lifeguard, hailed by People as a hero for saving six people during Hurricane Sandy, drowned while surfing in Puerto Rico, a family friend said.

Dylan Smith, of the New York borough of Queens, was found Sunday morning floating near his surfboard near the popular resort Maria’s Beach near Rincon, police said.

“The same sport — the sport of surfing — that he used to save all those people, it’s so shocking that he perished that way,” said New York Fire Department Chief Michael Light, a family friend.

Smith and 51-year-old Michael McDonnell were honored in People’s Dec. 6 issue as “2012 Heroes of the Year” for saving six people from the fast-paced flooding during Hurricane Sandy Oct. 29. The two attached a rope to Smith’s surfboard, which they then used to pull the group to safety in the Rockaways, one of the hardest hit areas during the storm, the New York Daily News reported Monday.


  1. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    December 25th, 2012

    Aw that sucks!

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  2. Adrienne

    December 25th, 2012


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  3. swimcoachmike

    December 25th, 2012

    albeit challenged in upward mobility, still deserve profs. There are many folks out there that have pull out of dire situations not knowing so. Great way for kids to enter working world and be trained in emergency responsiveness/just saying

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  4. Kairn

    December 25th, 2012

    In this case it seems the old adage is sadly true:

    ‘No good deed goes unpunished’

    This is so very tragic. Such a handsome young man. He looks like he was a very nice fellow. My heart goes out to his parents.

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  5. Patricia

    December 26th, 2012

    Wow – prayers for his family, please! Reminded me of that adage, “Only the good die young.” There’s a Bible verse that helped me enormously when my oldest son died (he was 19): “The good are taken away from the evil to come” (Is. 57:1). Morbid, I know, but it helped me during the excruciating moments….

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