Second student rower dies after boat capsizes amid likely lightning strike in Orlando lake


Two middle school students in Florida have died after their boat capsized during an apparent lightning strike while they were out for rowing practice this month.

A boat holding athletes with the North Orlando Rowing Club, a competitive rowing club for students in central Florida, capsized in Lake Fairview at 5:50 p.m. on Sept. 15, the Orlando Fire Department said. It said lightning had struck in the area at the same time, according to preliminary reports. It is not clear whether the lightning caused the boat to capsize.

Three of the five rowers on the boat were treated and released at the scene with no serious injuries, the United States Rowing Association said in a statement.

One student was hospitalized at AdventHealth Orlando, fire officials said. USRowing said the child was on life support.

Another student was missing for 24 hours before divers recovered the student’s body the next evening, fire officials said.

North Orlando Rowing, or NOR, said Sept. 16, “We learned we lost one of our rowers in this tragic accident.”

On Saturday, the rowing club announced the death of the child who was hospitalized.

“It is with broken hearts that we share the passing of a second rower involved in last Thursday’s weather-related tragedy,” NOR posted on Facebook. “The NOR community is devastated and continues to focus on supporting our affected families and our entire NOR team during this difficult time.”

"We are beyond grateful for the outpouring of love and concern from around the world. Please continue to hold our families in your prayers," the club said in a statement.

The club said it is cooperating with investigations by local authorities and USRowing.

The names of the victims were not officially released.

NBC News has asked NOR for comment.

USRowing said in a statement, “Our deepest sympathies go out to all those impacted by this tragedy.” It said it sent staff members “to lend emotional and operational support to the club and community.”

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