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DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. - Lightning struck a diver's oxygen tank as he surfaced off Florida's Atlantic coast, killing him, authorities said.
The 36-year-old man was diving with three others Sunday off a boat near Deerfield Beach, about 40 miles north of Miami. He had surfaced about 30 feet from the boat when lightning struck his tank, said Deerfield Beach Fire Chief Gary Fernaays.
The other divers struggled to get the man back into the boat and radioed for help, Fernaays said. The victim, whose name was not immediately released, was rushed to the beach, where a rescue crew gave him CPR. He was later pronounced dead at North Broward Medical Center in Pompano Beach.
A severe thunderstorm warning had been in effect Sunday for Broward County.
The Broward County Medical Examiner's Office planned an autopsy to determine if the man died by electrocution or drowned.
Was driving up A1A last week and saw storm clouds moving in. About 2 miles from the front in clear blue skies I saw one of the longest bolts of lightning I ever seen. Many do not realize lightning preceeds a storm several miles before it begins to rain.
__________________ "you're on the "Taker" side of the equation... you wouldn't understand... It's about where you work for what you want in life and then the takers (that would be people like YOU) steal it from you."
Been a "taker" since 1988. Serving my community and state since
Ive lived in SoFla all my life and honestly this is the worst summer I have ever seen. In June it rained for 2 weeks straight. The intensity of lightning storms (subjective opinion) is getting worse. I've come to the conclusion that if lightning is forecast i'm staying in port. On this same Sunday I overheard a distress call on 16 about a boat that had been hit by lightning. It just isn't worth taking this risk. "Winter" is looking better and better.
__________________ Intrepid 356 Cuddy
Twin Yamaha 250 Saltwater II
Terrible tragedy. What's more he was literally at water level, so he wasn't the tallest object in the area like a sail mast or antenna. The weekend forecast on Friday was for the storms to remain inland but that sure didn't happen. I've been boating early in the morning and back well before noon without a problem, but the afternoons have been very unpredictable and the weather often severe.
__________________ Carpe Diem
01 Tiara 2900 Coronet
God bless him and his family. This must have been pure bad luck or accident. Both Sat & Sun were very hectic, still no excuse to be hanging out there to become another weather victim. There were reports of tornado and frequent lightning with some residentís home being struck on both days.
I learned my lesson many years ago in N FL [was caught in the middle of a very bad summer storm off Jax; we were 30+ miles offshore and were heading in after a long day of fishing; around 2/3 pm as were heading in we saw the dark ugly looking skies heading our way; after calling Miss Mayport Captain and confirming the squall lines we decided to try and go around it ; we tried but there was no escape; lowered & dropped all the antennas, fishing poles to the floor and headed in; at 15 miles out a lightning strike hit 100 yards away behind us and knocked all the electronics; my buddy said he felt the jolt while holding the t-top; that day was my turning point as young folks are not afraid of much but toss mother nature then we learn a thing or two; to this day still makes me shiver!]. Ever since then, I leave early AM and quit before noon or long before the storms arrive.