Reported Sandy hero apparently drowns

A police statement Sunday has identified the tourist as 23-year-old Dylan Smith, whose body was found floating Sunday morning near his surfboard in waters off Maria

Waves wash over a roller coaster from a Seaside Heights, N.J. amusement park that fell in the Atlantic Ocean during superstorm Sandy on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CBS/AP) -- A tourist from New York has apparently drowned while surfing off a popular beach town in Puerto Rico.

A police statement Sunday has identified the tourist as 23-year-old Dylan Smith, whose body was found floating Sunday morning near his surfboard in waters off Maria's Beach in the western Puerto Rican community of Rincon. The town's beaches attract surfers from across the world.

Authorities say a local resident spotted Smith in the water and brought him to shore. A local doctor tried to resuscitate him but the surfer showed no signs of life.

The U.S. Caribbean territory's police are investigating the death.

People magazine dubbed Smith one of its heroes of 2012.

The magazine says Smith, a lifeguard, and another resident of Belle Harbor, in the New York City borough of Queens "ushered six people to safety with a homemade rope bridge and Smith's surfboard" during superstorm Sandy.

People says they did it as a six-foot tidal surge "roared down their block, and a fire from a gas line explosion engulfed houses around them." It quotes one of those rescued as calling Smith an "angel."

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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