The United States Coast Guard rescued safely seven people participating in a fishing tournament about 100 miles (160 km) from Clearwater, west Florida, when their boat was struck by lightning and left battered.

The occupants of the boat had time to emit an emergency signal that was picked up by the Coast Guard.

An MH-60 helicopter was dispatched to the area and one by one rescued the two men and five women who were aboard the boat struck by lightning.

In a video published by the coastguard, you can see the moment when the lightning strikes the boat and also how those affected were taken to the helicopter using a special basket for that purpose.

According to the Coast Guard, none were seriously injured.

The seven people were taken to an air base in Clearwater, a city on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa, where they met their relatives who had been notified of what had happened.

Tampa is considered the “lightning capital” of North America due to the abundance of thunderstorms that are recorded in its area.

Experts in the field estimate that an average of 10 people are killed and 30 injured each year in Florida by lightning strikes, with the cases occurring largely in the Tampa area.

“Thunderstorms are a routine occurrence in Florida’s maritime environment and can pose significant danger to boaters,” said Coast Guard Pilot Lt. David McKinley.

“Fortunately, the boaters in this case were well prepared with all the necessary safety equipment, including an EPIRB, flares and a VHF marine radio to ensure a quick and efficient rescue,” he added.

Categorized in: