A Sunday afternoon at Venice Beach turned into terror as lightning strikes 14 people, with one man dying as a result of this freak lightning bolt. Witnesses said it sounded like a “sonic boom” and a blinding bright light followed, according to the beach goers interviewed on “Fox and Friends” live Monday morning, July 28.
According to MSN News today, a man was found in the water face-down, he was believed to have been swimming when the lightning bolt hit. He was pulled from the water, with lifeguards immediately administrating CPR, but he was gone. The autopsy is expected to show the cause of death for this man, whose name has not been released yet.
13 others on the beach or standing on the famous Venice Beach boardwalk were also struck and treated. Nine people went to the hospital, including a 15-year-old boy. Paramedics treated the victims on the scene before transporting them to the hospital.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Venice Beach was hit by at least four lightning strikes, calling it “rare Southern California lightning.” The National Weather Service confirms that at least four lightning strikes hit Venice Beach at 2:20 p.m. on Sunday. The strikes hit both the water and the beach.
The lightning seemed to come from out of nowhere. Roger Davis who lives on the Ocean Front heard the explosions and ran outside where he saw his neighbor, who is a doctor, giving CPR to a victim. People dropped down on the pier when the lightning struck as their legs seemed to buckle out from underneath them, claim witnesses.
The paramedics said they treated effects from the lightning strike that ranged from anxiety to needing CPR. Steve Christensen, who had been body surfing with his friends, was sitting on the beach when the lightning hit and he watched as lifeguards went into the water looking for a missing swimmer.
One of Christensen’s friends went in to the water to help in the search and he walked right into the man who was “face down on the bottom” of the ocean floor. This is the swimmer who had died and was given CPR to no avail. He looked to be in his 20s.
Stuart Acher was playing volleyball on the beach when he was struck by the lightning bolt. He said there was a “big flash of light” and then it felt as if someone “punched me in the back of my head.” He said he could feel the electricity travel down the right side of his body.
His calves “sort of locked up,” causing him to fall over he reports. That’s when he said he looked up and he can see other people falling over. He went back to playing volleyball after a brief rest.
People on the volleyball court hit the ground when the sound of a “sonic boom” filled the air. The folks playing volleyball with Christensen felt “tingly” from the lightening which struck somewhere nearby.
A fierce, but brief thunderstorm hit suddenly without warning. Weather forecasters on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning said this type of storm is rare for this area of California this time of year.
A 57-year-old man was also hit by lightning from the same storm while out golfing on Catalina Island, just a few miles off the coast from Venice Beach. The man was hospitalized in stable condition. The lightning also caused a couple of brush fires, which were quickly extinguished.