Randy Smith of Sea of Dreams 2009: Randy Smith

Randy Smith of Sea of Dreams

Randy Smith, Founder and President of Sea of Dreams &8220Fred Hunt Jr.

of Berwick, Maine and his wife, Cynthia, were walking on Cocoa Beach in Florida when a man came running out of the water, yelling for help for his wife. Hunt handed his wife his wallet, cell phone and shirt and darted into the water. At 6 feet, 4 inches tall, he was a strong, experienced swimmer. Hunt and another man, Qemal Agaj, soon reached the woman, Maureen A. Jennings, a Canadian mystery novelist. Each had an arm and they were moving her across the riptide that had caught her, one pushing, the other pulling. Cynthia Hunt saw her husband give one final push that moved Jennings out of the current, then saw his head go under. Fred Hunt drowned that day - October 22, 2007 - as he and Agaj saved Jennings&8217 life.&8221 So goes the account of Fred Hunt, Jr.&8217s death in an article that appeared last year in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. The article focuses on Hunt&8217s posthumously being awarded the Carnegie Medal, which is given to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving the lives of others. What the piece doesn&8217t tell you is of another award he received from the long-time friend whom he was visiting, Cocoa Beach resident and USPS mail carrier Randy Smith. It&8217s an award you can&8217t help thinking Hunt would be far prouder of: Smith and countless friends showing their enduring love and respect for his memory through the creation of a local charity called Brevard County Sea of Dreams. Brevard County Sea of Dreams, Inc. aims to direct focus on Brevard County beaches as some of the most dangerous in the world. In the year of Hunt&8217s death, 10 people drowned in Brevard due to the rip current alone, all of them surfers and all deaths which occurred in areas untended by lifeguards. Since they began their efforts to educate the public on ocean safety, the people of Sea of Dreams, through signage and flyers, outreach groups, and raising money and awareness for lifeguard stations and equipment, estimate that they helped save 300 lives last year. In celebration of National Beach Safety Week (May 18-24), we asked Randy Smith and Vice President Karen Mack to help spread the Sea of Dreams message of responsible recreation and respect for our fickle waters. Tell us about the origins of Sea of Dreams.

Sea of Dreams began as an idea upon the death of Fred Hunt while he was saving a tourist caught in a rip current here in Cocoa Beach. I came up with the idea that it would be great to promote beach safety and help achieve more extensive lifeguard staffing to honor of his memory.

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