Family and friends said one last goodbye Saturday to a man who helped save lives during Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Firefighters, family and friends came in waves Saturday to say goodbye to Dylan Smith, a surfer who became a hero in the last two months of his life.
"Some guys go through a whole career and don't save six people," said Walter Rogers of the New York City Fire Department.
On the night of Hurricane Sandy, Smith used his surfboard to bring six people in the Rockaways to safety, a rescue so notable, he was named one of People Magazine's heroes of 2012.
Two months later, he drowned in Puerto Rico in a tragic surfing accident.
On Saturday, a procession of firefighters and bagpipes solemnly marched down Beach 129th Street.
Trucks lined Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Firefighters saluted Dylan. His father is a retired firefighter, but they say they also feel as if Dylan was one of them.
"It's usually an honor that's given to firemen," Rogers said. "Out of respect for his dad, and the fact that Dylan was a hero on the storm, he saved at least six people, we felt it was an honor to honor him in this way."
Leaders, family and friends mourned the loss of their neighborhood surfer turned national good samaritan.
"I think it's right to pay tribute to another of our local heroes," said Rep. Bob Turner. "Dylan did some heroic work the night of the storm doing what he does best: surfing."
"I coached him in CYO basketball and Little League and soccer, and he was a great young man," said Dan Edwards, a family friend. "It's a tremendous loss to our neighborhood and to the Smith family, and we give them all our love and respect. It's a sad day in Rockaway."
Those close to Dylan say he was modest. He didn't want to be known as a hero. But they also say that's exactly how he'll be remembered.