Florida Boater Killed After Lightning Strikes Vessel On River

By Zuri Anderson

April 18, 2023

Flash lightning
Photo: Getty Images

A Florida boater was killed and a passenger was injured after officials believe a lightning bolt struck the vessel they were on, NBC News reported. Brevard County Fire Rescue responded to a 911 call about lighting striking a boat on Indian River Sunday (April 16), according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Officials said crews performed life-saving measures on a man, identified as 39-year-old Peter Strong of West Melbourne, but he ultimately died from his injuries. The passenger, who wasn't identified, suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, the agency added.

FWC said they're investigating the incident as a boating accident.

Severe thunderstorms and even the threat of tornadoes were in the forecast for Brevard County on Sunday, according to reporters.

Strong's loved ones told WOFL they remembered him as someone who loved boating and fishing. They also revealed he was working toward becoming a captain and was the father of a 13-year-old daughter.

"He would spend the early days of the week cleaning probably to use it on the weekend," Edgardo Plaza, who worked at a marina near the scene, said. "He looked pretty happy."

According to the National Weather Service, 10% of people who are struck by lightning have died while those who survive suffer some kind of disability.

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