A search for a missing student is underway on a Florida lake after lightning capsized a rowing team’s boat on Thursday afternoon.
Five students from the North Orlando Rowing Club were practicing at Lake Fairview in Orlando around 5:50 pm when lightning struck the area, according to city spokeswoman Jennifer DeSantis.
One student disappeared during the incident and another was transported to AdventHealth Orlando under conditions unknown. The conditions of the remaining three students were not immediately released. Authorities also did not specify their ages.
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At around 1:40 a.m. on Friday, Orlando Fire Department dive teams were wrapping up the night, while Seminole County dive teams took over the search with sonar technology, according to Fox 35.
Fox 35’s Deborah Choe reported Friday morning that first responders would not say whether they were carrying out a rescue or recovery operation.
We’re almost into the sixth hour of the search for a missing student after his boat capsized during rowing practice. Kids here hoping their friend is okay. Crews have not told us whether this is a “rescue” or “recovery” operation. Another student is still hospitalized at last check pic.twitter.com/HhaxBbhwYO
— Deborah Choe (@DeborahChoeTV) September 16, 2022
At an on-site press conference, Orlando Fire’s deputy chief executive, Ian Davis, said there are many currents that “have the ability to move the victim.” Davis added that teams are moving back and forth to make sure they aren’t missing anything.
While the rowers have not been identified, the group’s Facebook page describes the club as serving boys and girls ages 12 to 18.
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The club’s published schedule showed that the high school and JV/Varsity teams were at the lake training at the time of the strike.
The South Orlando Rowing Association posted the following statement to Facebook Thursday night as the search for the missing rower continued:
“Our hearts go out to our friends at North Orlando Rowing. Geronimo and his entire team have been true friends of our club, and we ask that all our rowers, parents and anyone who sees this post have them in their thoughts.”
Authorities believe the five students were from various schools in central Florida.
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