Witnesses Describe Lightning Strike at Miami-Dade Nude Beach

Three people were being treated for injuries after they were struck by lightning at a popular nude beach in Miami-Dade Wednesday, officials said.

Minutes after lifeguards at Haulover Beach cleared swimmers from the water and took cover from a nasty storm, they had to run back to the ocean and rescue three people, two of them were in the water when lightning struck.

"We had just closed the beach because of a lightning strike in the area 10 minutes beforehand. We were in the process of clearing the area when the strike occurred," said Lt. Matthew Sparling with MDFR Ocean Rescue.

It happened around 4:15 p.m. on the north side of the nude beach in Haulover. Some of the swimmers couldn't believe what they just saw.

"It started thundering and lightning and some of us took shelter under lifeguard tower 15 and out of my peripheral vision I saw a lightning strike really close," one witness explained.

"The lighting had dissipated throughout the water so the lightning strike wasn't a direct hit. It was more hitting the water and electricity traveled through the water," Sparling explained.

The most seriously injured, a man who possibly went into cardiac arrest.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said another person was paralyzed unconscious, and a third who went in to help collapsed.

Witnesses said rescuers did a good job trying to clear the water and helping save the victims, and lifeguards followed protocol when they saw nasty weather approach.

Contact Us