In the Queens neighborhood of Belle Harbor, they are mourning the loss of a hero. A young surfer challenged the wrath of Hurricane Sandy to save his neighbors. Sunday night we learned 23-year-old Dylan Smith drowned on a trip in Puerto Rico. He was found floating next to his surfboard off the island's western coast near what is called Maria's beach in Rincon Sunday morning. News 4 interviewed Smith about his life-saving efforts shortly after the storm. Our Ida Siegal has more from Belle Harbor.
A New York City lifeguard who was called a hero for rescuing several people during superstorm Sandy drowned while surfing off a popular beach town in Puerto Rico.
According to police, the body of 23-year-old Dylan Smith was found floating Sunday morning near his surfboard in waters off Maria's Beach in the western Puerto Rican community of Rincon. The town's beaches attract surfers from across the world.
The night of the storm, Smith, who is from Belle Harbor, Queens, helped rescue six people using a homemade rope bridge and his surfboard as fires spread across the flooded Rockaway Peninsula. Smith was recently selected as one of People Magazine's Heroes of 2012.
Authorities say a local resident spotted Smith in the water Sunday and brought him to shore. A local doctor tried to resuscitate him but the surfer showed no signs of life.
Smith's family and friends expressed sorrow Monday that someone who saved so many lives during the October storm could lose his own on vacation. A local funeral parlor said funeral arrangements were being made.