Lightning Strike Capssizes Orlando Rowing Club Boat, Leaving 1 Student Missing

A search for a missing student is underway on a Florida lake after a lightning strike caused a rowing team’s boat to capsize Thursday afternoon.

Five students with the North Orlando Rowing Club were practicing on Lake Fairview in Orlando around 5:50 p.m. when lightning reportedly struck the area, according to city spokeswoman Jennifer DeSantis.

One student went missing during the incident and another was transported to AdventHealth Orlando in unknown condition. The conditions of the remaining three students were not immediately released. Authorities also did not specify their ages.

Fox 35’s Deborah Choe reported early Friday morning that first responders would not say if they were conducting a rescue or recovery operation.

In a news conference at the scene, Orlando Fire Executive Deputy Chief Ian Davis said there are a lot of currents that “have the ability to move the victim.” Davis added crews are moving back and forth to make sure they aren’t missing anything.
The South Orlando Rowing Association posted the following statement on Facebook late Thursday evening as the search for the missing rower continued:

“Our hearts go out to our friends at North Orlando Rowing. Geronimo and his entire team have been true friends to our club, and we are asking that all of our rowers, parents, and anyone else who views this post has them in their thoughts.”
Though the rowers have not been identified, the group’s Facebook page describes the club as serving boys and girls ages 12 to 18.

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