Child missing after boat capsizes following lightning strike

Rescue mission underway to find missing child

ORLANDO, Fla. – One child was injured and another is missing after a lightning strike Thursday afternoon at Lake Fairview in Orlando, local news outlet WKMG reported.

The lightning strike happened around 5:50 p.m. as five students from various area schools were on the lake while practicing with the North Orlando Rowing Club near North Orange Blossom Trail and Lee Road.

“There was a lightning strike in the area. We are unsure whether it actually hit the vessel or actually was just in the area,” Orlando Fire Department Executive Deputy Chief Ian Davis said. “The boat was capsized. (There were) five students on the vessel.”

One victim was taken to AdventHealth Orlando. Three students were returned to their parents after being evaluated by firefighters, said Davis, who added that he believes all the students are middle-schoolers.

A dive team continues to search for the other child, who vanished after the lightning strike.

“We are currently using our search patterns and we identified where we believe the boat was capsized and we are searching off of that,” Davis said. “However, we are going to be using some additional technology from some of our partners in the area that have come out and assist us to see if we can locate the missing child.”

No other details, including the names and ages of the children, have been released.

The Orlando Rowing Club, which says it’s mission is to promote the sport of rowing in Central Florida, posted a message on its Facebook page late Thursday, saying, “Holding vigil in the rowing community tonight.”

About the Authors:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined in April 2022.