CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. (970 WFLA) – A 44-year-old Tampa man was taken to the hospital Thursday after an indirect lightning strike at Sand Key Park.
Rescue crews were called to the park shortly after 11:30 a.m. The man was on the beach about 25 yards south of the lifeguard stand when the bolt struck nearby.
Police say a Pinellas County parks lifeguard was nearby and assisted the victim before paramedics arrived and he complained of a tingling sensation in his arm, but was not taken 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.
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.
Photo Credit Clearwater Police Department