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Lightning Hits Diver's Air Tank, Kills Him

683 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ptsmith24
Lightning Hits Diver's Air Tank, Kills Him
Man Was Diving With Three Others

POSTED: 8:55 am EDT July 23, 2007
UPDATED: 11:33 am EDT July 23, 2007

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. -- Lightning struck a diver's air tank as he surfaced off Florida's Atlantic coast, killing him, authorities said.

Stephen Wilson, 36, 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.
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That's got to suck. I've never dove in Florida, but when I lived in Dunedin, I remember the storms blowing in very fast.

USMC - Retired said:
My son and I were canoeing the Flint River a few weeks ago and a storm came out of nowhere. So here we are sitting on a river in an aluminum canoe soaking wet holding aluminum handled paddles. Needless to say we hit the closest bank and pulled out till it passed. Coulda be real ugly! By the way, don't let anyone tell you the Flint is a river. It's a lake, a really long near currentless lake and I can't prove it, but I'd swear some of it is uphill! :shock: We did 14.5 miles in about 8 hours and my arms felt like they were about to fall off when we got done! ;)

Cavediver said:
Several folks from the cave diving clan have felt lightning strikes while underground, 1/4 mile or more from the entrance, 60+feet deep! I'd guess that lightning is probably more dangerous than the alligators...
Holy... as if I didn't think cave divers were nuts enough. :wink:
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