The Jersey Shore community is in mourning following the sudden death of Sea Bright Ocean Rescue Capt. Mike Hudson.
“It was heartbreaking, and we couldn’t believe it,” says lifeguard John Forsman.
Hudson was hired as Sea Bright was rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy. The town was looking to build a world-class lifesaving operation.
“Not having him here is hard,” says Forsman.
Hudson was also hired as a safety supervisor by the “Jackass” film series and by the producers of Shark Week when they needed a paramedic and dive safety supervisor to keep people safe on risky film shoots.
“He’s just a remarkable guy. Full of energy, larger than life. Always busy, always thinking about the next idea,” says Rob Maloney, father of a Sea Bright lifeguard. “I heard a guy once say, ‘If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space,’ and that was Mike.”
Many of the lifeguards in Sea Bright describe Hudson as a rare mix of hard-driving disciplinarian and a fun-loving superhero-type character.
The guards say that Hudson pushed them and inspired them and awed them with his stories – like the time he saved a stuntman being attacked by sharks on the set of “Jackass: Shark Week.” He used a technique he developed called the “Sea Bright tourniquet.”
“That was one of the things he stressed – was doing the right thing, even when no one is around,” says Forsman.
Those who knew him vowed to continue what he helped build in Sea Bright and the lessons he instilled in their own lives.
“The biggest disrespect we could do to Mike is to not uphold the standard that he set, and we’re going to work very diligently to make sure we continue to do that,” says Sea Bright Beach Manager Don Klein.
A cause of death has not yet been determined for Hudson. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced, but there is talk of a memorial honoring Hudson on the beach.
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