Woman and Child Struck by Lightning While Swimming in Florida

A woman and her niece have survived after being struck by lightning while swimming in the sea off of a beach in Florida.

The woman, 38, and child, 12, were both struck by lightning at about 6:10 p.m. on Monday while swimming in the sea close to a beach at Clam Pass Park in Naples, Florida, according to local station WINK TV.

The unnamed pair were both taken to a local hospital, with one of them suffering from minor injuries and the other from moderate injuries. As of Tuesday night, they were both expected to recover.

Dr. Ben Abo, a member of the Collier County EMS team who responded to the incident on Monday, told WINK TV that the water is the worst place for someone to be located when lightning strikes.

"The secondary effects if you're unconscious on top of not breathing, you can drown and things like that," Abo said. "Really, it's the worst situation to be out on the water."

Abo said that it's important that people are aware of what to do when someone is struck by lightning, explaining: "There are people who honestly still think you're electrified, don't touch them. No, you got to get emergency care immediately, and that could really make or break the difference."

The website for Florida Disaster says that the state records between 70 to 100 days every year with thunderstorms, as lightning strikes are common in the area.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that Florida is "considered the 'lightning capital' of the country, with more than 2,000 lightning injuries over the past 50 years."

There have been several incidents of people being struck by lightning in Florida over the past couple of weeks. A couple from South Carolina were struck in front of their two young children while vacationing in the state on Saturday.

NBC affiliate WBBH reported that Brent and Kristen Jerome were visiting a beach in Sanibel, Florida, at the time of the incident, which was witnessed by their children, aged two and five, who were unharmed.

A blog by the Downtown Church in South Carolina, where the couple are members, confirmed that "Kristen is slowly recovering from her injuries," while "Brent's condition is critical."

Less than a week before the Jeromes were injured, a Georgia teenager vacationing in Florida was struck by lightning when with his family at a beach bar located near the 1000 block of South Collie.

The Marco Island Police Department said that the 17-year-old's father immediately performed CPR on him after he was struck, before he was transferred in a stable condition to a local hospital by emergency medical services shortly after.

Lightning struck woman and niece in Florida
File photo of lightning over the sea on Nice beach. A woman and her niece have survived after being struck by lightning while swimming at a beach in Florida, as the state was hit by severe weather early this week. NorthHatley/iStock / Getty Images Plus