A 23-year-old lifeguard dubbed a hero after Hurricane Sandy drowned this weekend while surfing in Puerto Rico.
Dylan Smith, a 23-year-old lifeguard who was named one of People Magazine’s Heroes of the Year for his actions during Hurricane Sandy, was found dead on Sunday morning near Maria’s Beach in Rincon.
According to CBS, Smith’s body was spotted by local residents. He was rushed back to shore, but doctors were not able to resuscitate him.
Smith was included in PEOPLE’s Heroes of the Year this year for saving several people during Hurricane Sandy. The magazine reports that Smith, along with 51-year-old Michael McDonnell, saved six people during the storm with a surfboard and a homemade rope bridge.
Katie Cregg, one of the people who was saved by Smith and 51-year-old Michael McDonnell, said:
“Michael just took charge. He looked me straight in the eye, and I knew then and there we were going to be okay. And then the kid with the surfboard arrived like an angel, and everyone’s spirits lifted.”
FDNY Chief Michael Light, a friend of the hero lifeguard, told the magazine:
“The same sport – the sport of surfing – that he used to save all those people, it’s so shocking that he perished that way.”
Smith’s death is currently being investigated by local police.