Seven People Rescued After Lightning Strikes Boat Near Tampa Bay

The US Coast Guard rescued seven people from a boat 100 miles off the coast of Clearwater, Florida, on Saturday, June 25, after their vessel was struck by lightning.

The Coast Guard said in a press release that it received an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) alert and was able to contact the owner’s wife, who confirmed that her husband was participating in a fishing tournament with the other people on the boat.

This video posted by United States Coast Guard Southeast shows the moment the vessel was struck by lightning, as well as footage of the Coast Guard lifting the men and women into a helicopter.

According to the news release, a Coast Guard helicopter crew hoisted the five women and two men without medical concerns and returned them to the air station, where family members greeted them.

“Lightning storms are routinely encountered in the Florida maritime environment and can pose a significant hazard to boaters,” said Lt David McKinley, Coast Guard pilot. “Fortunately, the boaters in this case were well prepared with all necessary safety equipment including an EPIRB, flares, and a marine VHF radio to ensure a quick and efficient rescue.” Credit: USCG Southeast via Storyful

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