On Friday, August 13, the City of St. Pete Beach released that a lighting strike at the Tradewinds Island Grand Resort had injured two people.
On Thursday, August 12, St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue was dispatched to the scene of a lightning strike at 5500 Gulf Blvd. at 4:53 p.m.
Units from St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue 23, Special Rescue 23, and District 23 responded to help a female victim, 16, who was struck by lightning behind the resort, according to the release. Prior to first responders’ arrival on the scene, Tradewinds staff moved the victim indoors and provided CPR along with Pinellas County Sheriff Office (PCSO) deputies. St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue units took over care, providing Advanced Life Support (ALS) medical services, according to the city.
A man, 60, was in close proximity to the initial victim and also needed medical care, though his injuries were determined to be non-life threatening.
St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue crews transported both victims to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.
Fire Marshal Kelly Intzes reminded residents to use caution when they see lightning or hear thunder.
“When you hear thunder, seek cover as quickly as possible in either a substantial building or hard-topped metal vehicle and remain there for at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder,” he stated in the release.
St. Pete Beach Fire Chief Jim Kilpatrick added that people should also avoid isolated tall trees, towers or utility poles as lightning tends to strike taller objects.
“Metal and water are strong conductors of electricity and electrical current can travel long distances through them,” read the release.
Mayor Alan Johnson added, “We have many visitors to our area and residents who aren’t aware of the dangers of our storms. The storm’s natural beauty can be deceiving. When it comes to thunder and lightning, no storm is ‘just a small one.’ Always err on the side of caution. Our thoughts are with the victims of the lightning strike and their families. We are thankful for the quick actions of the Tradewinds staff, our Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies and the crew at the St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue.”