A lightning strike in Venice Beach, California killed a man today and injured a dozen others. The National Weather Service told the LA Times that at least three more lightning strikes hit Venice Beach starting around 2:15 and striking sporadically within the hour.
According to a post on Instagram by gunner_cuz, the man, who appeared to be in his 20s, was a surfer – catching waves just fifty yards away when lightning struck:
Lost a fellow #surfer today #surfing 50 yards away from each other when #lightning struck in the water sending a jolt of #electricity through the #ocean at #Venice #Beach #California. May you #rest in peace and #ride your #wave in #paradise.
Instagram user Michelegs8 commented:
“I’m saddened by this tragic accident but I want to believe that he spent his last few minutes on this earth doing something he enjoyed in one of the most beautiful beaches in this area.”
Venice Photographer Steve Christenseon shared the following account on his Facebook page:
“After the lightning struck, our neighbor pulled a body out of the surf just now. North of the Pier where the lightning struck.The body drifted north all the way up to 26th. The body was found about an hour after the lighting strike.”
According to reports, those affected were all either in the ocean or on the beach beside the Venice Beach Pier, just a few blocks from The Inertia HQ.
A Venice Beach lifeguard told The Inertia that they conducted a search for one missing person by the Venice Pier and recovered a body around 4 PM. The lifeguard said it was unclear whether the victim died as a result of the strike or falling into the water unconscious.
Warm remembrances and accounts of the incident have spread widely across social networks.
Watch CNN’s video report here.