Video shows moment lightning strikes boat off Florida’s coast; 7 passengers unharmed

Video stills showing the moment lightning struck a boat traveling off the coast of Florida. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A scary video shows the moment lightning struck a passenger-filled boat Saturday off the west coast of Florida.

According to the Coast Guard, seven people were rescued from the 39-foot boat after it was hit by lightning while traveling in the Gulf of Mexico about 100 miles off the coast of Clearwater.

None of the passengers were injured, the Coast Guard said, but the boat was disabled.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew hoisted the five female and two male passengers and returned them to the air station where family greeted them.

The Coast Guard said it got an EPIRB alert and was able to contact the owner’s wife who said her husband and others were part of 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, 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.”

The vessel owner is working with commercial salvage to recover the disabled vessel.

Seven people were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard on Saturday after their 39-foot vessel was disabled by a lightning strike 100 miles away from Clearwater, according to a news release. (U.S. Coast Guard 7th District PA Detachment Tampa Bay)

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