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14-66 Man Suffers Injuries From Indirect Lightning Strike

7/24/2014 2:51:20 PM

Contact: Rob Shaw

July 24, 2014

14-66

Man Suffers Injuries From Indirect Lightning Strike At Beach

A Tampa man was taken to the hospital Thursday after sustaining injuries from an indirect lightning strike at Sand Key Park.

Samuel Sepulveda, 44, of 3209 W. Palmetto St. in Tampa, was taken to Largo Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Clearwater Fire & Rescue workers and Clearwater Police were called to the park shortly after 11:30 this morning. The victim was on the beach about 25 yards south of the lifeguard stand when the bolt struck nearby.

A Pinellas County Parks lifeguard was nearby and assisted the victim before paramedics arrived. The lifeguard complained of a tingling sensation in his arm, but he was not transported to the hospital.

Another lightning strike in the park nearby also started a small brush fire at the same time. A small clump of palm trees and a grassy area were scorched in the fire. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in a matter of minutes.

It was not raining or actively storming at the time of the incident, which shows the unpredictable nature of the summer thunderstorm season in Florida.

Beachgoers and others participating in outdoor activities need to keep a wary eye on the sky at all times, because lightning can stretch out several miles from the actual storm clouds.

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Photo available at https://www.media-alert.com/listings/Person.aspx?id=55753