A young lifeguard who helped save several neighbors during super storm Sandy was found dead floating off the shore of a popular surfing spot in Puerto Rico.
The body of Dylan Smith, 23, was discovered Sunday morning floating close to his surfboard just off a section of beach of the popular resort Maria's Beach near the town of Rincon on the western coast of Puerto Rico, police officials stated.
Smith was labeled a hero after word spread of his heroic acts that helped saved the lives of six people who were trapped by the surging waters of Sandy in a hard hit section of the Rockaways.
Smith and 51-year-old Michael McDonnell were honored in People's Magazine's Dec. 6 issue as one of the magazine's "2012 Heroes of the Year." The pair received that honor after their story made national headlines.
During the storm, Smith and McDonnell saw that the storm surge from Sandy had trapped six people on a porch on Beach 130th St. and were at risk of being swept away by the fast moving waters.
The six trapped neighbors were saved after McDonnell was able to create a rope from electrical tape and twine which was then attached to Smith's surfboard.
The pair then was able to move the stranded people from their porch to higher ground across the street.
"The same sport- the sport of surfing- that he used to save all those people, it's so shocking that he perished that way," FDNY Chief Michael Light, a family friend, told the New York Daily News.
"He was a wonderful young man with a bright future and so much to offer ... he had a lot of friends, a lot of people who loved him, and it's a shame that he was taken away from us far too soon," Light added.