Your Florida Daily: Tropical Storm Lee rapidly intensifying, 12-year-old struck by lightning

Plus: Jimmy Buffets work to save manatees

The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Lee has formed and is quickly intensifying.

Forecasters think Lee will grow into a major hurricane by the end of the week as it slowly moves through the central Atlantic.

Models suggest that the storm will turn north and stay out to sea, but it’s too soon to be certain of its path.

A family visiting Florida from Minnesota says their lives have been changed forever after a 12-year-old was hit by lightning on the beach in Brevard County.

The girl’s aunt was recording a video for social media at the very moment the lightning hit. The video shows Mila Yang enter the water and then shows her aunt and mother fall on the ground when the strong bolt hits.

Her mother told News 6 moments after the clip in the video, they discovered the girl unconscious in the water.

“I walk to the beach first and I see no rain and the clouds already moved and then my daughter come and then we just start to play a little bit a few minutes she walked into the water,” Nalee Yang said.

The girl remains hospitalized weeks later and is suffering from brain damage.

The family has created a GoFundMe page as Mila continues her recovery in the hospital.

A Florida man, known for his attempts to cross the ocean in a floating human-sized hamster wheel, has been arrested again.

A criminal complaint shows Reza Baluchi was rescued by the Coast Guard about 70 miles off the coast of Georgia where Baluchi says he was on a voyage to London.

His vessel was a giant metal drum with buoys on each side and paddles powered by a runner.

It was deemed unsafe by the Coast Guard but as crews asked him to leave the wheel, Baluchi pulled out a large knife and threatened to kill himself and claimed to have a bomb.

This went on for days and when Baluchi admitted he didn’t have a real bomb, he agreed to surrender to the Coast Guard.

He now faces federal charges.

Reports show Baluchi attempted similar voyages in 2014, 2016 and 2021, all of which ended with rescues by the Coast Guard.

"Save the Manatee Committee Chairman Jimmy Buffett and Pat Rose, Department of Natural Resources Manatee Recovery Coordinator review a script for manatee public service announcements. Singer/songwriter Buffett and Florida Governor Bob Graham established the Save the Manatee Committee (SMC) in 1981 to promote public awareness and education about the endangered West Indian manatee. SMC is sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and the Florida Audubon Society. The Save the Manatee Club provides a way for the public to participate in saving this docile mammal from extinction. (Florida Memory)

Random Florida Fact

In 1981, Jimmy Buffett co-founded the Save the Manatee Club, an organization whose mission is to protect the imperiled sea cows and their habitat.

He worked with then-Florida governor Bob Graham to introduce the “Save the Manatee” license plate, with proceeds going to the Club.

Buffett supported various environmental causes over the decades and even lobbied Congress for the reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act.

Rest in paradise, Jimmy.

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About the Author:

Katrina Scales is a producer for the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m. She also writes and voices the podcast Your Florida Daily. Katrina was born and raised in Brevard County and started her journalism career in radio before joining News 6 in June 2021.