Community holds paddle-out for fallen FDNY firefighter
A celebration was held at Lido Beach Suday for fallen hero Casey Skudin, a New York City firefighter from Long Beach who was killed in a tragic accident while on vacation with his family in North Carolina.
More than 200 people headed out into the Atlantic Ocean for a paddle-out memorial in honor of Skudin. The Long Beach father of two was killed last week when a 2,000-pound tree fell on the SUV he was in.
He died two days shy of his 46th birthday and Father's Day.
Casey and his family were driving up to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina as part of a family vacation. Casey was a long-time lifeguard in the Town of Hempstead and a beloved member of the surfer community in Long Beach.
"He was just the bravest, kindest most epic human being and he's going to be really missed," said his widow, Angela Skudin.
She and their two sons, Ben and CJ, led the surfers into the ocean off the same beach where Skudin spent many summers working as a lifeguard.
Out in the waves, surfers joined hands to form a circle to say good bye and celebrate Skudin's life.
During the paddle out, his family spread his cremated remains in the ocean. Angela Skudin said he would've loved seeing all the people who turned out to pay their respects at the seaside memorial.
"The show of support shows what kind of life he led and what kind of human being he was," Angela Skudin said. "I know he's where he wanted to be."
After the paddle-out memorial, family and friends gathered for a celebration of Skudin's life in Point Lookout at Ted's Fishing Station.