by: Nathaniel Rodriguez, Nexstar Multimedia Cable
CLEARWATER, Florida (WFLA) – Seven people had to be rescued from a boat 100 miles off Clearwater after their vessel was struck by lightning on Saturday.
The Coast Guard said it received an alert about the boat’s emergency and contacted the owner of the boat. She told them that her husband and others were participating in a fishing tournament when the boat was struck by lightning.
A helicopter crew eventually located the occupants, five women and two men, and airlifted them to Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. The family of boaters met them at the base.
“Lightning storms are regularly encountered in the Florida marine environment and can pose a significant hazard to boaters,” said Coast Guard Pilot Lt. David McKinley. “Fortunately, the boaters in this case were well prepared with all the necessary safety equipment including an EPIRB, flares and marine VHF radio to ensure a quick and efficient rescue.”
The boat owner worked with a salvage company to salvage the disabled vessel.
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