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Man Dies at Fort Fisher

Michael Jerome Smith, a 46 year old man from Rocky Point, drowned after struggling in rough waters in Fort Fisher. Witnesses say two men were struggling to swim ashore in front of the Fort Fisher Visitors Center. A few men on the beach swam in to help them and were soon joined by lifeguards and other rescuers. They were only able to save one. “It's just a very sad thing to happen on a Labor Day weekend when you're coming to enjoy the beach with your family,” said Dede Davis, who witnessed the incident. “I'm sure it's not what anyone expected to experience or see.” The incident happened in an area where no lifeguards were on duty. Authorities are still investigating what happened.

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A great man called to duty

To the family of Mr. Michael Jerome Smith, words can't explain what I witness on Sunday, September 31. 2008. I saw an angel (Mr. Smith) walk up to me and he assured me that he would take care of the little boy in distress. Mr. Smith had a beautiful glowing smile on his face. He was so relaxed and peaceful when he said, "Don't worry, I got him, he's going to be okay." Even though I'd never met Mr. Smith before, I have to say that I have never met a man quite like him. To the Family, please understand that his death was not in vain. Everyone one that was there to witness changed our lives. I know that God is in charge and that he used one of his angels (Mr. Smith) to change everyone that was on the beach that day. For all to often I didn’t pray to often and didn’t give thanks, as I should. Even though time after time I have been the recipient of God’s mercies. To often I didn’t take the time to show my gratitude for what he has done for my family and me. Your father, brother, grandfather, friend, husband, uncle gave this back to all of us. I will never forget…. Daddy © By Brandi D. Bird My dearest daddy 'I love you', I think of you each day. I feel your arms around me, that's how I get through my days. Your looking down upon me, to guide me on my way, but it’s very hard without you, each and every day. People always tell me, the grieving will subside. But how can it get better, without you by my side. No matter how hard they try, to help me with this pain, I am all consumed by thinking, It will never be the same. I know one day we'll meet, in the Heavens up above. It's the one thing that helps me, to never forget your love. My dearest Daddy, I love you, Your with me every day. I will keep this love within me, until that beautiful day...

Drowning @ Fort Fisher

This story is so sad. People just trying to have fun at the end of summer and enjoy a day at the beach with their families. God bless the survivors of the drowning victim. I'm happy at least one man was saved but a life lost is still very sorrow filled for those left behind. My thoughts and prayers are will all of the folks involved. Godspeed...RIP Michael Jerome Smith.

my condolences to the family

my condolences to the family of this hero. Not many people would risk their life to save others. I feel that it toke a great man to do what he done and that his family should be very proud of his actions and to the families of the children he went to save they should be internally grateful that this man was willing to do what he done. Again my sympathys to the family may god be with you.

Thank You Amanda For Your Condolences

Amanda -- On behalf of all the combined families who have been affected by this tragedy, we thank you for huge heart and kind words of expression. Yes, "Mike" finished strong by giving his life for the lives of someone else. He will truly be missed in our lives. May the grace of God continue to keep you all of your days. Blessings, ~Roz

Our Condolences...

As out-of-town visitors, visiting the beach that evening with local friends, my family, friends, and I were very saddened to witness this tragic event. However, it gives us hope to know of Mr. Smith's noble efforts. From all indications, Mr. Smith was quite a remarkable gentleman. May God's grace and mercy be upon Mr. Smith's family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

True Hero

You are exactly right. There are very few true heroes left for our children to idolize. Fortunately, Sept. 11th brought back to life TRUE heroes: firefighters, policemen, etc. Mr. Smith is a TRUE hero, and fits every definition of the word. His selfless act reflects the type of person he was, I'm sure. Although this family is grieving, please know your community is grateful for this act of kindness. Unfortunately his decision to help others tragically ended his life. Your community is praying for you and your family during this time and are very grateful for his citizenship. Everyone should strive for the greatness this man accomplished.


I'd like to give my condolences to the family of Mike Smith. He was a hero in the end and gave his life in an act of courage. It seems, the newspaper could at least print his name along with this story and stop saying A Rocky Point man. I knew Mike for many years and he was always smiling. I'll remember him just like that, the seem as the last time I saw him. Roz, if there's anything I can do, let me know. My prayers are with you, the family, his kids and friends who knew him best. Take care and to God be the Glory.