ORLANDO, Fla. – A child’s body was discovered after a lightning strike overturned a boat Thursday afternoon at Lake Fairview in Orlando, officials said.
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.”
A dive team searched for a child who disappeared after the lightning strike and found a body Friday evening.
Another 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.
At approximately 5:15 p.m. Friday, OFD reported that deputies had located the missing student on Lake Fairview roughly 24 hours after they originally went missing.
OFD said the recovery effort was completed and that it was “incredibly saddened” by the incident.
“On behalf of the Orlando Fire Department and all the first responders on scene, our hearts go out to the family and friends impacted by this tragedy,” OFD wrote in a statement.
The missing student attended Annunciation Catholic Academy in Altamonte Springs, according to a Facebook post from the school.
“Please pray for our student, missing in the tragic boating accident on Lake Fairview, and his family. We also ask that you keep our community in your prayers as well. May we find comfort in the loving arms of Jesus and each other. We ask our Blessed Mother to pray for us during this difficult time,” the post stated.
“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.”
Check back for updates.