Share this @internewscast.com
A lightning strike on a boat 100 miles off the coast of Florida carrying seven people was caught on video Saturday.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew flew two hours to rescue the five men and two women, one of whom was pregnant, from the boat off the coast of Clearwater, according to the Coast Guard and those who were on the vessel.
The group, which was participating in a fishing tournament, was returned “to the air station where family greeted them,” the Coast Guard said.
Glenn Rumer, the co-captain of the vessel, said the group was headed into shore when an unexpected storm swept in.
“There was only one way to go. And that was kind of through the storm,” Rumer told NBC’s “TODAY” show. “I’ve been through storms. I’ve had lightning around me in the past, but nothing like this.”
“Every second there was lightning,” added his sister, Sherrie Kelley.
The intense lightning strike was caught on video, appearing to come very close to some of the passengers.
No one was injured, but Rumer said the outrigger was set on fire and exploded into splinters.
“The motors, the electrical, everything went out we were completely dead in the water,” he said.
Kelley said she “went into mom mode” and got everyone below deck.
The Coast Guard said that because the boat was equipped with an emergency position-indicating radio beacon, crews were able to quickly locate it. But it still took two hours to get to the disabled boat.
Kelley and Rumer said everyone got emotional when they were finally rescued. Rumer called the rescue crew “angels of the water.”
“Mother Nature had her way with us,” Kelley concluded with a laugh.
But “we had God’s backing and he blessed us and everybody is safe at home and nobody hurt,” Rumer said.
More people are killed in Florida by lightning strikes than in any other state, according to the National Weather Service.
“Florida’s unique location, surrounded by warm water, provides the necessary ingredients for thunderstorms to form,” according to the NWS.
Typically, July is the most dangerous month for lightning strikes in the state.