Diver killed by lightning strike off Deerfield coast

Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by on July 23, 2007 at 13:46:08:

In Reply to: Diver in Florida struck by lightning posted by 167 dive beginner on July 23, 2007 at 10:38:13:

DEERFIELD BEACH - A 36-year-old man was struck and killed by lightning while diving in the Atlantic Ocean off Deerfield Beach on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

The incident took place during an afternoon of severe thunderstorms that pelted the region, from Miami to West Palm Beach, with torrential rains, strong winds, pea-sized hail and hundreds of bolts of lightning.

At the time of the strike, at about 3 p.m., two divers were on a 20-foot boat and two were in the water, said Deerfield Beach Fire Division Chief Gary Fernaays.

When one of the divers in the water surfaced, "lighting struck his tank," Fernaays said. "He was approximately 30 feet from the boat at the time."

The man, whose name was not immediately released, went underwater again, as the other three attempted to rescue him. It took about 10 minutes for them to get the victim into the boat, Fernaays said.

During that time, they radioed Deerfield Beach Fire-Rescue for help. They then drove the boat toward shore and beached it in the 600 block of North Ocean Boulevard, Fernaays said.

"Our unit was waiting at the beach," he said. "When we saw the boat coming in, we immediately headed to that location."

The victim, who had gone into cardiac arrest, was given CPR while he was being taken North Broward Medical Center in Pompano Beach, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

Lightning also struck and started a roof fire a home in the 3000 block of Green Turtle Place in Margate, according to a preliminary report. Tile were reportedly blown off roof, but no injuries reported.

The reason squally weather hit so hard on Sunday: two line of thunderstorms converged on South Florida from two different directions, said meteorologist Dan Gregoria of the National Weather Service in Miami.

"Storms developed along the Atlantic coast and started to move inland," he said. "Other storms developed out over the Everglades and moved into the metro areas as well."

East-central Broward County was hit hardest, receiving about 2 to 3 inches of rain, Gregoria said. The weather service issued an urban flood advisory, though no serious flooding was reported on Sunday, other than puddles in streets and low-lying areas.

A tornado was initially reported in the 2100 block of Northwest 29th Court Oakland Park but officials couldn't confirm that a twister actually touched down.

Even so, the weather in that area was "really bad," said Richard Tingley, a Broward Sheriff's Office communications operator who lives in that area and was delayed getting to work on Sunday afternoon by the heavy rains.

"There was a lot of rain and wind," he said. "You couldn't even see the car in front of you."

Monday's forecast: a 60 percent chance of more showers and thunderstorms.

Follow Ups:

Optional Link URL:
Optional Link Title:
Optional Image URL:
Post Background Color: White     Black
Post Area Page Width: Normal   Full
You must type in the
scrambled text key to
the right.
This is required to
help prevent spam bots
from flooding this BBS.
Text Key: