15-Year-Old Dies After Being Struck by Lightning While Swimming in Ocean

A 15-year-old Alabama girl died after being struck by lightning while swimming in the water near Tybee Island in Georgia.

According to a press release from the Tybee Island Police Department, the incident occurred Saturday at 2:37 p.m. local time when police received a 911 call regarding a female that had possibly been struck by lightning. Police were told that the person was swimming in the ocean near 17th Street.

Police said that they were notified by the caller that lifeguards were on the scene to assist the female.

"Upon the arrival of the first officer on scene, the victim had already been removed from the beach and was undergoing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) from fire and lifeguard personnel," the Tybee Island Police Department said in the press release.

After police arrived, they learned that there would be an "extended wait" for emergency medical officials to arrive to the scene, they called in a helicopter to transport the female to a nearby hospital.

"During this same time, first responders loaded the victim into a fire department vehicle and began to transport her with police escort," police said in the press release.

According to police, officials transported the girl from the fire department vehicle to an ambulance while on Highway 80. The ambulance was escorted by police to the helicopter landing zone, but the emergency medical personnel "made the decision to continue the transport via ambulance and departed the scene."

Police said that after the girl's arrival at the hospital, she was pronounced dead. Detectives learned from the girl's family that she was from Alabama and was visiting Tybee Island.

"The men and women of the City of Tybee Island are deeply saddened by the loss of this young woman and our hearts remain with her family and friends," the Tybee Island Police Department said.

Police did not identify the 15-year-old girl by name.

A similar situation occurred last week in New Jersey, when a 70-year-old man was fatally struck by lightning on a golf course.

Following the incident in New Jersey, the death of the 15-year-old girl marks the second fatal lightning strike of 2021, according to data from the National Lightning Safety Council. According to the National Lightning Safety Council, since 2006, there have been at least 15 fatal lighting strikes in Georgia, with the most recent occurring in July 2020.

There were 17 fatal lighting strikes in 2020, according to the National Lighting Safety Council.

Newsweek reached out to the Tybee Island Police Department for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Lightning
A 15-year-old Alabama girl died after being struck by lightning Saturday while swimming in the water near Tybee Island in Georgia. Above, cloud-to-ground lightning strikes during a supercell thunderstorm on May 9, 2017, in Lamb County, Texas. Drew Angerer/Getty