Daniel Knapp, a 43-year-old agent who was based in San Juan, drowned on Thursday at Hidden Beach in the coastal city of Fajardo, the FBI said in a statement.
Friends of the swimmer had asked Knapp for help, and he was able to reach the swimmer but was later overcome by rough ocean conditions, the FBI said.
“Special Agent Knapp exemplified each of the ideals of the FBI, as well as possessing those traits which define a genuine wonderful person,” said Joseph S. Campbell, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI San Juan Field Office, according to Patch.com. “He died a hero, saving another life. We will miss him greatly.”
Knapp was born in Loma Linda, California, graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and had been with the FBI for six years. He received the 2011 FBI Director's Award for Outstanding Criminal Investigation and the 2011 Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement.
Knapp is survived by his parents and four brothers. Some of his immediate family live in Las Vegas, where the body will be transferred for funeral arrangements.
Members of Puerto Rico's police maritime unit were able to save the unidentified swimmer.
The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory on Thursday that remains in effect, warning of waves of up to 14 feet (4 meters).
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.