Associate Editor
"We lost one of the best today. RIP Mickey McCarthy, a true East Coast legend and the Outer Banks' greatest ambassador." Photo: Dugan

“We lost one of the best today. RIP Mickey McCarthy, a true East Coast legend, and the Outer Banks’ greatest ambassador.” Photo: Dugan


The Inertia

Sad news coming out of the Outer Banks today that has the community, and the surf community at large, reeling over the loss of an icon. Legendary lensman Mickey McCarthy died Friday, reports Eastern Surf Mag, after complications following treatment of a heart attack.

A photographer for 40 years with no formal training, Mickey had an innate ability and an attraction to the sport of surfing in particular, namely that no two shots were ever the same. Early on, Mickey developed a reputation for his abilities. Documenting surfing on the East Coast, though, especially from the ’70s to the early ’90s, meant always having a chip on your shoulder – the West Coast-based magazines would often pass on his imagery.

That changed when in the early ’90s Mickey got a call from Tom Dugan asking to contribute a few images for a new publication called Eastern Surf Magazine. That was the beginning of Mickey’s 25-year relationship with ESM that would influence and inspire generations of surfers – especially up and down the East Coast.

“We lost one of the best today,” said ESM in a Facebook post. “RIP Mickey McCarthy, a true East Coast legend and the Outer Banks’ greatest ambassador — we’ll never forget your kindness and warmth, and your laughter will ring out in our ears forever. Pray for Mickey’s family and friends this holiday weekend.”

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Our thoughts are with Mickey’s friends and family, especially with this tragic loss occurring so close to the holiday weekend.

We invite you to check out more of Mickey’s iconic photos here.



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