Lauderdale Lakes lifeguard hurt by lightning strike

LAUDERDALE LAKES, FLA. (WSVN) - A lifeguard had a shocking scare when a lightning bolt nearly struck her at a Lauderdale Lakes swimming complex.

Lauren Potts, 27, was arriving to work at the swimming complex, located on Northwest 39th Street and 30th Avenue, Monday morning.

Surveillance video shows the moment she was jolted by a lightning strike that hit a few feet away.

Officials said the lightning struck a nearby tower, where she felt a jolt from the strike before she ran for cover.

Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue transported her to Florida Medical Center to be checked out.

Officials said that Potts is lucky to be alive. “It’s always a possibility to get struck by lightning, if there is lightning in the area,” said Dr. Frank Vittimberga, Florida Medical Center Chief Medical Officer. “It’s important to take all lightning strikes seriously.”

While Potts is expected to be OK, a construction worker on June 27 was killed in Pembroke Pines after he was hit by lightning.

“Even if the sky is blue and there’s no clouds around, it’s still possible to be struck by a bolt,” said Vittimberga.

Officials said this is an important reminder to stay safe when lightning is in the area by keeping a low profile, staying under cover and avoid holding large metal objects.

“If somebody does get struck by lightning, the key things to look for is to make sure you’re safe before you try to help somebody who’s been struck by lightning,” Vittimberga said. “It’s possible that the patient can have arrhythmias, their heart can stop and would require CPR. It’s also possible that they could have a dysrhythmia, so they should go to the hospital and get checked out.”

The victim has since been discharged and is resting at home.

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