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Sanibel beach goers perform CPR on lightning struck couple

Posted at 10:50 PM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 19:11:39-04

SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. — It’s an event so rare and yet can happen to anyone just about anywhere- lightning strikes.

Two adults had to be transported to a hospital Saturday after being struck while out on Sanibel Beach. But what do you do if you’re the witness of such an event?

“People need to be very careful outside with lightning. Lightning is not something that you want to mess around with.”

On Sanibel Beach Monday afternoon, all looks calm. Beachgoers enjoying the sand and the water to their fullest. But on Saturday, it was a different scene as two people were struck by lightning.

“If at all possible, we recommend that people go indoors safely and wait until the storm has passed," says Samantha Quinn, Public Information Officer with the Sanibel Fire Department.

The call came in about six minutes before 5 p.m. Saturday. EMS was en route within a minute of that call and responded to the scene within five. But thanks to some quick thinking bystanders, CPR was started almost immediately. Something Quinn says can be the difference between life or death.


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW TUESDAY ON FOX 4 NEWS AT 5 PM:

Deivid Tejera was the one who performed CPR on one of the adults after he was struck by lightning on Sanibel Beach Saturday. He spoke exclusively with Fox 4's Rachel Loyd.

"The lightning struck so close to us, because we felt the thunder like right there!" he said. "We saw the kids touching them, like hey mom, mom! Or dad, dad! That’s when we ran over to them, and we realized that they were unconscious."


“The first thing you need to do, immediately, is start CARE," said Quinn. "CPR is the first step for those individuals so we encourage you to start CPR, immediately call 911 so that we can be dispatched out there and get emergency service personnel on-scene. Always start CARE first and never leave the patient.”

The two who were struck, a husband and wife, were transported to a local hospital for evaluation. According to authorities, their two children- ages two and five- narrowly missed the strike. However, there have not been any updates on the couple’s condition. This marks the second incident where someone has been struck by lightning in Southwest Florida within the past couple of weeks. With afternoon storms becoming more prevalent this time of year, now is a good time to keep an eye on the forecast.

“Lightning usually happens during the humid months so around June, July and August is when we’re going to see our highest lightning injuries that happen," Quinn said. "Especially here in Florida, I mean, we have very humid months.”

Anyone can become CPR certified, with courses offered online. Sanibel Fire are also offering the courses in-person.

RELATED | Couple struck by lightning on Sanibel identified as South Carolina couple

Quinn said, “We have a training officer and he does teach the public. So if people are interested, they are able to contact us and we can set up a class and they’re more than welcome to come here and we would help them become CPR certified.”

You can find more information online right here.