Hurricane Sandy Surfer Hero Dies at Sea

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Photo: Smith Family

Twenty-three-year-old Dylan Smith — named one of People magazine's 2012 Heroes of the Year for rescuing six people in the Sandy-deluged Rockaways on his surfboard — was found drowned off the coast of Puerto Rico earlier today. A doctor tried to resuscitate him and local police are still investigating the death.

FDNY chief Michael Light, who was also a family friend, told the New York Daily News: "The same sport — the sport of surfing — that he used to save all those people, it’s so shocking that he perished that way."

Family members of Smith's survivors took to Twitter to share their loss, including user ray_marten, who tweeted: “Dylan Smith of all people didn’t deserve this. Saved my sister the night of sandy. He will be missed."