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Lightning sparks fire on boat at sea

By Associated Press
Published September 3, 2003

MIAMI - A lightning strike ignited a boat about 20 miles offshore Tuesday, forcing the captain to jump from the flames before he was rescued by the Coast Guard.

The captain, who was not immediately identified, was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. The extent of his injuries was not known, Petty Officer Mike Mitchell said. The hospital did not immediately return a page.

The 50-foot boat departed Fort Lauderdale for Bimini, the westernmost island of the Bahamas, when it was struck by lightning, Mitchell said. The captain called mayday at 4:41 p.m..

"The boat was engulfed in flames when he got into the water," Mitchell said.

[Last modified September 3, 2003, 01:32:04]

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