15-Year-Old Killed By Lightning Strike While Swimming On Vacation

(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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A 15-year-old girl vacationing in Georgia was struck and killed by lightning while swimming Saturday, according to the Tybee Island Police Department.

Authorities received a call around 2:37 p.m. on Saturday that the unidentified teen was swimming in the ocean and had possibly been struck by lightning. Lifeguards were already responding to the incident and performing CPR on the victim, according to police.

Police said that they requested a helicopter to take the victim to the hospital due to a delay in EMS arrival time. Authorities ultimately loaded the victim into a fire department vehicle and began transporting her to the hospital with a police escort. (RELATED: Man Dies After The Tree He’s Standing Under Gets Struck By Lightning In Horrifying Video)

Police eventually transported her to an ambulance while driving on the highway. Upon arriving at the hospital, the teen was pronounced dead.

“The men and women of the City of Tybee Island are deeply saddened by the loss of this young woman and our hearts remain with her family and friends,” police said in a statement.

Mayor Shirley Sessions called the tragedy “unthinkable,” according to CNN. “Often swimmers and beach goers are enjoying the moment and when storms appear suddenly, the unthinkable can occur. All of us on Tybee have heavy hearts today, especially the first responders who desperately tried to save her life,” Sessions said.

While lightning strikes on the water aren’t common, when they do happen, they can be deadly.

“Lightning doesn’t strike the ocean as much as land, but when it does, it spreads out over the water, which acts as a conductor,” the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration stated. “It can hit boats that are nearby, and electrocute fish that are near the surface.”