NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – One of the heroes of Hurricane Sandy has died.

Dylan Smith, a lifeguard who lived in the Rockaways, died in an apparent surfing accident in Puerto Rico over the weekend.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

“It’s truly a tragedy. It’s so ironic and really unjust if you really think about it, something that he’s so good at,” family friend and FDNY chief Michael Light told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

Smith paddled up to stranded residents during the storm with his surfboard. He helped six people get to safety.

“One by one, we put them on my surfboard and brought them over to the house across the street,” Smith told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman back in November.

There’s no official word yet on what caused the 23-year-old to die, but investigators say Smith appears to have drowned.

His body was pulled from the water not far from a resort on Puerto Rico’s western coast.

Smith carried out the rescue with his neighbor Mike McDonnell.

“He truly made a difference and he was a humble hero,” Light said.

McDonnell has since said he intended to start a non-profit foundation commemorating the rescue called the Bridgerope Foundation For The Rockaways.

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