JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla.-- Despite the brave efforts of local lifeguards, one of the heroes of Superstorm Sandy drowned while surfing.
Dylan Smith, 23, grabbed national headlines after he used a rope bridge and his surfboard to rescue six people from raging fires and flooding. At the time, Jacksonville Beach lifeguards had no idea he was selected as one of People Magazine's Heroes of 2012.
It's not something everyone can say, but Tim Kline and Ryan Karish love their job. They're lifeguards at Jacksonville Beach. Their job doesn't stop when they go home. "No matter where we are, we have the training to help someone and we're going to do it wherever we can," said Kline.
That's exactly what these two lifeguards did on their vacation in Puerto Rico. "I just saw someone yelling at the beach for help," said Kline.
The adrenaline and training kicked in. They gave CPR to Smith, but it was too late.
"A lot of people were around, crying and saying prayers," said Karish.
Only after they tried to save him, did they learn Smith was a hero himself. Smith was named as a People Magazine's 2012 Hero of the Year. He risked his own life in October to save six of his neighbors during Hurricane Sandy. He got them to higher ground using his surfboard.
His love of surfing is what brought him to Puerto Rico. The two lifeguards just wish there was more they could do to save this hero. "It's heartbreaking. There was nobody there quicker. We did everything we could," said Karish. "When someone's in danger, you go and save them. The same as Dylan Smith did in Hurricane Sandy," said Kline.
Kline was in Puerto Rico to unwind and get away from all the devastation caused by Sandy.