The Florida Coast Guard saved seven passengers when a bolt of lightning damaged their personal sea vessel 100 miles off the coast of Clearwater. The vessel was taking part in a fishing tournament.
The Coast Guard posted about the incident on their official Twitter and Facebook pages, including a video that shows the moment lightning hit the boat on June 26.
#BREAKING USCG Air Station Clearwater rescued 7 people after their boat was hit by lighting 100 mil offshore of #TampaBay. Everyone is ok & reunited w/ family & friends thanks to them activating their EPIRB. Read more @ https://t.co/sINUsheQ9t#EPIRB#lightningstrikes#USCGpic.twitter.com/08SCd6WKoq
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) June 26, 2022
“USCG Air Station Clearwater rescued 7 people after their boat was hit by lighting 100 mil offshore of TampaBay. Everyone is ok & reunited w/ family & friends thanks to them activating their EPIRB,” the Coast Guard said in its tweet.
According to a release from the Coast Guard, there were five women and two men on the boat when the terrifying lightning strike took place and they were airlifted by an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. The occupants of the boat were brought back to the air station where they met their relatives, the Coast Guard release further said.
After receiving an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) alert, the Coast Guard District Seven command centre was able to get in touch with the owner’s wife, who revealed that her husband and other people were taking part in a fishing tournament.
“Lightning storms are routinely encountered in the Florida maritime environment and can pose a significant hazard to boaters,” said Lt. David McKinley, a 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,” Mr McKinley added.
The vessel owner is coordinating with a commercial salvage company to recover the severely damaged vessel.