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Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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Lightning strike at Sand Key sends Tampa man to hospital

A Tampa man was hospitalized Thursday after sustaining injuries from an indirect lightning strike at Sand Key Park, Clearwater officials said.

Samuel Sepulveda, 44, of 3209 W. Palmetto St., was taken to Largo Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Clearwater rescue workers and police were called to the park shortly after 11:30 a.m., city spokesman Rob Shaw said.

Sepulveda was on the beach near a lifeguard stand when the lightning struck nearby, Shaw said. A Pinellas County Parks lifeguard was nearby and assisted Sepulveda before paramedics arrived.

The lifeguard complained of a tingling in his arm but was not transported to a hospital, Shaw said.

About the same time, a lightning strike started a small brush fire in another area of the park, Shaw said. A small clump of palm trees and a grassy area were burned. Firefighters extinguished the fire in a few minutes.

It was not raining in the area when the bolts struck.

“Beachgoers and others participating in outdoor activities need to keep a wary eye on the sky at all times because lightning can stretch out several miles from the actual storm clouds,” Shaw said in a news release.

Weather Center