An 8-year-old Australian boy was struck by lightning on a beach in New South Wales in what’s being described as an “extreme freak accident,” per 9News. The horrifying moment captured the moment the boy was struck while wading into the water at Barrack Point in Warilla.
Many families had been at the beach to celebrate Australia Day. It was an especially hot day, with temperatures topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit. While a storm had been brewing for much of the afternoon, no one realized the danger until the boy was struck.
Witness Simon Young told 9News that they heard an “almighty crack” and saw the family rushing towards the boy who’d been struck by lightning. “It was just like a shock out of nowhere and at the time I looked out to the inlet and everyone was unaware of what had occurred,” Young recalled. “A young child just fell to the ground in the water and his family and siblings ran to his aid to grab him as fast as possible.”
There was an “immediate response” after the boy was struck by lightning
Family members pulled the victim to the sand and Shellharbour Surf Life Savers immediately came to the boy’s rescue. Lifeguard Byron Vinkovic was the first to respond. He later said he was “really proud” of the team for helping the victim until he could be taken to the hospital.
The boy was taken to Sydney’s Westmead Hospital. He’s said to be in critical but stable condition. According to reports, he had scars and burns on his chest and was not conscious when pulled from the water.
Lifeguard Chris Holme said the strike was a “one in a million” situation and expressed his well-wishes for the young victim and his family. “All our hearts go out to the young boy and their family and hope they are on the road to recovery,” he said.