2nd lawsuit filed after boy killed in lightning strike while rowing on Lake Fairview in Orlando

Boy is 1 of 2 killed in September incident

A memorial has grown in the days after a child’s body was found when a boat carrying five rowers overturned after a lightning strike on Thursday.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The family of one of two boys killed when lightning struck during a rowing practice in September on Lake Fairview in Orlando has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the family of the 13-year-old boy is suing Power Ten Rowing Club, North Orlando Rowing Club and USRowing.

The boy was one of four students on the boat when thunderstorms rolled into the area, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit alleges other rowing teams stayed indoors for practice while the boy’s team went out on the water.

While the students went out on the water, the coach stayed on the dock, according to the lawsuit. Due to the rain and thunder, the lawsuit claims the students had a hard time hearing instructions from the coach.

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Lightning struck the boat while the students were returning to shore, knocking two of the boys — the 13-year-old and an 11-year-old — unconscious and causing the boat to capsize, the lawsuit said. The 13-year-old boy was lost in the lake and his body was found by dive teams hours later.

The 11-year-old boy was held above the water by the other students until the coach reached them with a boat, the lawsuit said. The boy was later taken to the hospital, where he died days later on his 12th birthday.

When police arrived, the North Orlando Rowing Club’s head coach said the students on the boat did not learn how to flip a capsized boat, the lawsuit alleges.

This lawsuit comes after the family of the 11-year-old boy, who died days after the incident, filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged there was a lack of training and supervision during the practice.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.