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Lightning strike kills one on Siesta Key beach

One person died after they were struck by lightning on a Siesta Key beach, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

The person, whose name was not immediately released, was struck at about 2:15 p.m. in the vicinity of the 6000 block of Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key.

Visiting first-responders and lifeguard performed CPR on the victim until paramedics arrived. The victim was taken to a local hospital, where they were pronounced dead, according to the sheriff's office.

The investigation is continuing.

The lightning was part of a series of heavy thunderstorms in the Bradenton-Sarasota area on Sunday. There were no reports of other serious injuries or damage.

Beachhunter.net offers several safety tips for beach-goers when a thunderstorm hits. They include:

  • Get off the beach if you can hear thunder or see lightning, even if it is in the distance.
  • Lightning can strike more than 25 miles from the thunderstorm in which it originates.
  • Do not take shelter under a tree.
  • Take shelter in a building (even a bathroom if necessary).
  • Take shelter in your car.
  • Do not go into the water or touch the water. Lightning travels easily through salt water and can kill multiple people near the strike.
  • Do not go back out onto the beach until at least 1/2 hour after the last thunder is heard. The most deaths from lightning occur either 1/2 hour before the storm arrives or 1/2 hour after it passes.
  • If you are caught in the open and cannot seek shelter, squat down on the ground with only your feet touching the ground. Stay away from fences, electric poles, metal objects, trees. Get as low as possible.
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