Lightning Strike Appears To Kill Florida Boat Captain, Passenger Injured, Officials Say

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A boat captain in Florida died after lightning apparently struck his vessel, also injuring another passenger onboard, officials say.

Emergency personnel were dispatched to the Indian River in Brevard County on April 16 after reports that a vessel had been struck by lightning. Upon arrival at the scene, first responders found 39-year-old boat captain Peter Strong unresponsive, NBC News reported Tuesday. Emergency personnel attempted life-saving measures, but Strong was later pronounced dead, according to the outlet.

An unidentified passenger who suffered minor injuries was also located on the vessel by emergency personnel and transported to a local hospital for care, NBC reported, citing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Though there was no indication of when the alleged lightning strike took place, heavy storms and weather warnings were expected in the area Sunday evening, NBC News reported, citing data from the National Weather Service (NWS). (RELATED: Ex-Military Dad Saves Daughter’s Life After She Gets Struck By Lightning In Arizona)

Though the chances of getting struck by lightning are approximately one in 600,000, lightning is a leading cause of weather-related deaths in a year, according to the NWS. Lightning strike casualties generally occur during the summer and typically take place in the afternoon and early evening hours, the agency says.

In order to reduce one’s risk of getting struck by lightning, the NWS urges people to move inside during inclement weather, especially if thunder can be heard. When inside, the NWS advises individuals to refrain from using phones or other electrical equipment, unless required for an emergency. If outside, it is important to avoid open water and tall, isolated trees. Instead, the NWS advises individuals to seek out low-lying areas until the storm passes.