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Lightning strikes girl, 16, at St. Pete Beach resort, injures nearby man, officials say

A 60-year-old man who was near the lightning strike suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to a city spokesperson.
Check for the latest breaking news and updates.
Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and LUIS SANTANA | Times ] ]
Published Aug. 13
Updated Aug. 13

Resort staff, sheriff’s deputies and fire crews performed emergency medical protocols on a 16-year-old girl after she was struck by lightning at a St. Pete Beach resort Thursday evening, according to St. Pete Beach officials.

A second victim, a 60-year-old male, sustained non-life-threatening injuries due to his proximity to the lightning strike, according to a news release from St. Pete Beach. An additional Advanced Life Support unit from the city’s fire crew assisted the man with his injuries, officials said.

The teen girl was in the back area of TradeWinds Island Grand Resort on Gulf Boulevard when she was struck shortly before 5 p.m. As the St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue crew responded to the scene, TradeWinds staff members moved her indoors and performed CPR, along with deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, according to the release.

St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue units arrived three minutes after receiving the 4:53 p.m. call and took over the girl’s care, and they performed Advanced Life Support — a set of life-saving emergency protocols — upon arrival, officials said.

Both victims were transported to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. A St. Pete Beach spokesperson said she could not give out the current status of either victim due to HIPAA laws.

“We have many visitors to our area and residents who aren’t aware of the dangers of our storms,” St. Pete Beach Mayor Al Johnson said in the release. “The storm’s natural beauty can be deceiving. When it comes to thunder and lightning, no storm is ‘just a small one.’”

He added that his thoughts are with the victims and their families.

St. Pete Beach Fire Chief Jim Kilpatrick also gave tips for what people should do when lightning storms occur, such as staying away from utility poles, isolated tall trees and towers.