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Luzimara Souza, a Brazilian surf champion from Ceará, was killed on March 27 when she was struck by lighting while surfing. She was 23 years old.
According to Diario do Nordeste, a Brazilian publication, Souza was surfing at Leste-Oeste Beach in Fortaleza when the incident occurred. She was pulled from the water by a man named Gerardo Junior, then taken to the Instituto Dr. José Frota, a nearby hospital.
“I came here the moment she was struck,” the rescuer told Diario do Nordeste. “Unfortunately, she received the discharge on top of her. She and the other surfers were hit by the lightning. I was able to rescue her and, in a short time, she was taken to the hospital.”
According to reports, Souza wasn’t the only one struck. Just minutes after the rescuer pulled her to shore, he realized there was another person in trouble. “I went in the sea to get him and I took him to the firemen,” he said. “I left there and he was conscious.”
The second victim was taken to the headquarters of the Firefighters Search and Rescue Battalion, where he arrived unconscious, received the first aid, and was sent to the IJF. Definitive updates on his condition vary, but G1 Globo reported that he is a 17-year-old and is currently listed in “delicate” condition.
Luzimara’s mother, Maura Souza, told reporters that her daughter surfed at Leste-OesteBeach frequently. “She has a habit of surfing there,” she said.
Souza was training for the Brazilian Surfing Championship, which is set for April 6 and 7 in Caponga. According to her coach, Jehova Rodrigues, she won the Ceará and Brazilian championships in 2018.
Our thoughts are with the friends, family, and anyone affected by this tragedy.