Reporting Derek Valcourt
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Two young men are fighting to survive in the hospital after they were apparently struck by lightning.
Derek Valcourt reports–it happened at a small beach in Anne Arundel County’s Bay Ridge community.
Emergency officials cannot confirm it was a lightning strike that injured the two young men, but neighbors say there’s no doubt about it.
Boaters watched as a fast-moving storm cell approached Anne Arundel County’s Bay Ridge community beach.
“I saw the strike on the beach, I thought luckily no house was hit,” said Dave Humphreys, neighbor. “I didn’t know at the time it turned out to be a rather horrific event.”
John Martin was hosting a party at his nearby home when 18-year-old Conner Benson and 23-year-old Alex Steel raced out to the beachfront to secure some boating equipment. That’s when witnesses say the lightning bolt hit on the ground nearby.
“Thinking that the boys had run for cover and they were fine, we went looking for them and they were both knocked out unconscious on the beach,” said John Martin.
Those two young men collapsed on the beach, some neighbors rushed in to perform CPR.
Frantic calls for help came into Anne Arundel County’s 911 Center
911 Operator: “The 23-year-old male, is he conscious?”
Caller: “No, they are doing CPR as we speak on him, too.”
911 Operator: “On both of them?”
911 Operator: “Was there a storm down there? Was somebody possibly hit by lightning?”
Caller: “That could be a possibility.”
The boys were rushed to the hospital, where doctors are working to keep them alive.
“Hopefully we’re going to see a full recovery. Everybody is extremely optimistic,” said Martin.
Neighbors say the freak accident serves as a huge reminder.
“You’ve got to respect the power that mother nature can produce,” Humphreys said.
Both young men are in a medically induced coma according to friends in an intensive care unit.
Fire officials say they cannot confirm lightning as the cause of the injuries.