Monday evening, an adult and a child were injured by a lightning strike at Clam Pass Park in Collier County.
According to 911 dispatch, the call came in at 6:10 p.m. regarding a medical emergency involving possibly two people struck by lightning at Clam Pass Park off Seagate Drive.
Collier County EMS confirmed the 38-year-old and 12-year-old victims were in the water at the time of the strike.
“I would have never expected that,” Dylan Holmes said. “It’s very scary. Families come down here all the time.”
It’s another lightning strike in Southwest Florida that could have hit anywhere.
“The people were in the water, and it was not raining,” Dr. Ben Abo said. “The storm had already passed.”
Abo is part of the Collier County EMS team that was called to the scene and says being out in the water is the last place you want to be when there’s lightning.
“The secondary effects if you’re unconscious on top of not breathing, you can drown and things like that,” Abo said. “Really, it’s the worst situation to be out on the water.”
Abo says making sure you are not outside during a storm is very important, but knowing what to do if someone is struck by lightning is lifesaving.
“If someone does get hit, what do you do? There are people who honestly still think, ‘You’re electrified. Don’t touch them.’ No. You got to get emergency care immediately, and that could really make or break the difference,” Abo said.
Beachgoers we spoke to Tuesday were shocked to hear this is the third strike that injured five people in less than two weeks in the region.
“First thing that really comes to my mind is that a lot of people that come down here aren’t aware that, when a storm comes rolling in, it’s time to get out of the water,” Cameron Carrigan said.
They hope people can learn from these scary situations.
“This is also an eye-opener for other people,” Holmes said.
One person sustained moderate injuries and the other suffered minor injuries. They were both taken to an NCH hospital for treatment. Tuesday night, we were told they are both OK.
“I do hope genuinely and pray that their family can get better and recover from this and get back out onto the water soon,” Carrigan said.