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obx mourns surf photog mickey mccarthy

The Outer Banks has lost one of the good ones.

Mickey McCarthy, on duty at ESA Easterns. Photo: Tom Dugan

Mickey McCarthy, on duty at ESA Easterns. Photo: Tom Dugan

Mickey McCarthy was a happy constant in the local surfing world, his love of his craft apparent in the photos that he took and the smile that he always seemed to be wearing. Eastern Surfing Magazine, which has published thousands of his photos, pays a heartfelt tribute to Mickey in this story online. The featured photo of Mickey is by Daryl Law.

“ESM is heartbroken to report that true East Coast legend and iconic Outer Banks lensman Mickey McCarthy passed away on December 23rd, 2016. Mickey suffered a heart attack several days ago and was airlifted to Norfolk General Hospital, where doctors found a 100% closed coronary artery. A stint was put in and the artery was cleared, with Mickey reporting to friends and family on Wednesday in his hearty Southern drawl that he was feeling great and ready to go home. But complications resulted in Mickey’s tragic passing Friday morning.

Jesse Fernandez photo by Mickey McCarthy

Local legend Jesse Fernandez captured by Mickey McCarthy

Mickey was a legendary figure on the East Coast, photographing damn near every good day on the Outer Banks from the mid ’60s onward, contributing to the early growth and continued success of the Eastern Surfing Association (even serving as their official photographer over the last few years), and hand-crafting thousands of beautiful, functional shapes under the New Sun Surfboards label. Although Mickey didn’t move to Kill Devil Hills with his beautiful wife Betsy until 1981, he immediately became one of Dare County’s greatest ambassadors, mixing an astute photographic eye with one of the biggest smiles, heartiest laughs, and warmest hearts in all of surfing. That bestowed upon Mickey true bona fide legend status — in every sense of the word.”

Check out more great pics of Mickey and read the rest of the tribute over on Eastern Surfing Magazine.

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