The Jersey Shore community is in mourning following the sudden death of Sea Bright Ocean Rescue Captain Mike Hudson.
“It was heartbreaking and unbelievable,” said lifeguard John Forsman.
Hudson was hired by Sea Bright when it was rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy. The town was trying to build a world-class life-saving operation.
“It hurts that he’s not here,” says Forsman.
Hudson was also hired as a safety supervisor by the producers of the “Jackass” film series and Shark Week, who needed paramedics and dive safety supervisors to keep people safe on a dangerous film shoot.
“He’s a great guy. He’s got more energy than life. He’s always busy, always thinking of the next idea,” says Rob Maloney, Sea Bright Lifeguard father. “I once heard a guy say, ‘He takes up too much space if he doesn’t live on the edge.’ It was Mike.”
Many of Sea Bright’s lifeguards describe Hudson as a rare combination of hard-driving discipline and fun-loving superhero-type characters.
Security guards say Hudson inspired them, inspired them, and awed them with his story — like when he saved a stuntman who was attacked by a shark on the set of “Jackass: Shark Week.” So he used a technique he developed called the “Sea Bright Tourniquet”.
“That was one of the things he emphasized: doing the right thing even when no one was around,” says Forsman.
Those who knew him pledged to continue what he built at Sea Bright and the lessons he instilled in their lives.
“The biggest insult we can give Mike is not living up to the standards he set. We will work very hard to keep it going,” said Seabright Beach Manager Don Klein says.
Hudson’s cause of death has not yet been determined. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced, but there is talk of a memorial honoring Hudson on the beach.