TWO children have died in a freak accident from a lightning strike that capsized their rowing boat.
One boy’s body was pulled from the water the day after the tragic accident in Orlando, Florida, and the second boy has now died in hospital from his injuries on his 12th birthday. The two boys’ identities have been revealed today.
On September 15, lightning bolted a young group of rowers practicing on Orlando, Florida’s Lake Fairview, causing the boat to capsize, according to a GoFundMe.
Authorities said five middle schoolers were onboard the boat, and while three were safely returned to their families after medical treatment, Langston Rodriguez-Sane, 12 was hospitalized in critical condition and Gavin Christman, 13, was missing for a day.
Gavin was found dead after 24 hours, and Langston clung to life for two weeks before succumbing to his injuries.
“We wish to shine a spotlight on the beauty and joy that Gavin and Langston brought into this world,” the GoFundMe page read.
The GoFundMe paid tribute to the boys and read: “Gavin’s warm eyes and loving heart reached the soul of every person he met. He had a sensitivity and insightfulness that far exceeded his 13 years of life. Gavin’s charming, good looks, keen intellect, and quick wit brought laughter to even the most mundane of situations.
“Langston was a bright light in this world. He was welcomed into heaven on his 12th birthday as family and friends gathered to celebrate the infectious joy that he brought to so many lives. Langston had a playful sense of humor that made those around him laugh and smile, especially his big sister. He was uniquely and unapologetically himself. ”
North Orlando Rowing is the nonprofit sports club the team was rowing with.
In a Facebook post on September 24, NOR said: “It is with broken hearts that we share the passing of a second rower involved in last Thursday’s weather-related tragedy.
The company added: “We continue to cooperate with local authorities and USRowing as they investigate the incident.
“Until the investigation is complete, we are unable to provide further comment.
“We are beyond grateful for the outpouring of love and concern from around the world. Please continue to hold our families in your prayers.”
There were storms in the general area near Lake Fairview, but no storm warnings there the day the rowing boat tragically capsized, according to FOX35.
It remains unknown why the kids were out rowing in dangerous weather unsupervised, and whether the lightning struck near the boat or hit the boat itself.