Hurricane Irene: deadly

A 55-year-old surfer lost his life after riding Hurricane Irene waves, off New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Frederick Fernandez was enjoying strong 5-to-7 foot wave sets in 20-to-30 mile per hour winds.

Lifeguards say he was surfing one second and then the next second he was floating. Apparently, the well known surfer has hit the bottom and suffered a head injury that left him unconscious.

The experienced waterman from Volusia was transported to the Bert Fish Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Rip current warnings have been lifted as the Hurricane Irene storms the Florida coast and targets New York. Strong winds and giant waves have been spotted along the Southeastern US shores.

Hurricane Irene is a North Atlantic tropical cyclone and the first major hurricane of the 2011 season. Irene formed from a well-defined Atlantic tropical wave that showed signs of organization east of the Lesser Antilles.

The world's best surfers are expected to hit Long Beach, in September, for the 2011 Quiksilver Pro New York. Check the wave height forecast for the next hours and days, in Florida and New York, here. Please avoid surfing during hurricanes, storms and cyclones.