‘It could save your life:’ Brevard woman warns of weather risk after husband killed by lightning while boating

Peter Strong killed when his boat was struck by lightning

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – After her husband was killed by a lightning strike while on their boat, a West Melbourne woman wants people to take the risk of being outdoors during severe weather seriously.

Last Sunday, April 16, Tiana Sloan and her husband, Peter Strong woke up early to squeeze in a little fishing time before severe storms rolled into Brevard County. Now, Tiana is recovering after their boat was struck by lightning. Her husband, Peter was killed.

Tiana said Peter was a boating expert, often taking it out three to four times a week.

“He knew boating, he knew the weather, he loved me, you know what I mean,” Sloan said. “So he would have never jeopardized my life if he thought it was unsafe.”

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As the storms arrived Tiana and Peter made the decision to head back to the marina which was just a few minutes away rather than waiting out the storm somewhere else for several hours.

“We couldn’t see but at that point, there was nowhere else for us to go. We were two minutes from our dock,” Sloan said. “I would do anything to have those three, four hours back.”

Tiana said if being struck and killed by lightning can happen to an experienced boater like her husband, it can happen to anyone.

“So yeah, next time you are out on the boat, don’t think that you can make it,” Sloan said. “Think the opposite. Think you won’t make it and it could save your life.”

Her message is clear -— the risk just isn’t worth it.

“I wish I could change it,” Sloan said. “That’s all.”

Tiana wants Peter to be remembered as a loving father and husband who wanted to share his passion for fishing, boating and the water with everyone in his life.

“He was just a wonderful person and one of the best fishermen I’ve ever met in my life,” Sloan said.

As a way to honor Peter, Tiana has set up a GoFundMe for his 14-year-old daughter for when she is older. If you’d like to donate, CLICK HERE.

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Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.