Although thunder and lightning can be scary for young children, most storms pass quickly and cause little damage. But if there is a lightning storm, it’s always best to take some basic precautions: go inside if you’re outdoors; stay low to the ground; and keep away from water.
The CDC reports that “If you are out in the open water and a storm rolls in, return to shore immediately.” Tragically, there are times when returning to shore isn’t an option before something happens.
William Friend, the husband of “One Tree Hill” actress Bevin Prince, died after his boat was struck by lightning while he was 33 years old.
Friend was boating near Masonboro Island on July 3rd at approximately 3:15 pm when the boat was hit by lightning. After receiving a call about an unconscious man in the water, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office’s Marine Unit arrived at the scene and took him to Bradley Creek Marina. EMS tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him for 20 minutes before pronouncing him dead and transporting him to the hospital.
John Jensenius with the National Lightning Safety Council stated that being in a boat during a lightning storm is never safe. He said, “Some people think that there’s some protection just based on a little bit of metal, but really there isn’t when you consider that lightning gets into the metal systems of your boat and you’re very close to those. So really very little protection, especially if you’re an open boat.”
Watch the video below to learn more about Friend and how Prince’s friends and former co-stars reacted to his unexpected death.
Prince has not said anything about the tragedy publicly, though she regularly posts loving photos of her husband on Instagram.
As many people are aware, it is dangerous to be on a boat during a lightning storm.