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Lightning Kills Diver
BeachBubbles - 7/23/2007 12:00 AM
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Lightning Kills DiverI saw this on the news this morning. As a new diver--in Florida, The Lightning Capital Of The World--I`m concerned about this. I wonder about the hazards of lightning to divers in the water. We`ve always been told to get out of the water when lightning is in the area, but what about fish? What happens when lightning strikes the ocean? Does it kill them? Would it kill a diver under water?

Local News Monday, July 23, 2007

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Lightning strikes, kills diver as he emerges from water

Lightning strikes, kills diver as he emerges from water

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DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A 36-year-old man is dead after lightning struck and killed him when he emerged from the water.

According to Deerfield Beach Fire Rescue, Steve Wilson was swimming and diving with three friends off of a 20-foot boat near the Hillsboro Inlet in Deerfield Beach around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Wilson was in the water with another friend. Just as he surfaced, a bolt of lightning struck him, and he went under.

Janio Fereitas put his friend`s final moments in simple terms. "He was diving, only diving," said Fereitas. "When it started to rain, he was under the water. When he came up, the lightning hit him."

It took his friends 10 minutes to pull him out of the water and then race to the shore. Wilson went into cardiac arrest while on the boat. Concerned for their friend, the boaters beached their boat to get Wilson transported to the hospital as soon as possible.

John Parrish, who tried to help the distressed boaters, said he watched as they beached the boat. "Me and my son happened to see a boat just coming down the beach during the heavy part of the storm," said Parrish. "At first, we didn`t think there was any problem, but then they pulled in and started yelling for help."

DBFR gave CPR to Wilson and transported him to North Broward Hospital in Deerfield Beach, where he later died.

The coroner will perform an autopsy to rule if Wilson`s death was a result of drowning or electrocution.

(Copyright 2007 by The Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More details in another article:

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.
Copyright © 2007, South Florida Sun-Sentinel