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Lightning strike at caye kills Audubon ranger #21410
07/04/06 01:25 AM
07/04/06 01:25 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Lightning strike at caye kills Audubon ranger

A freak accident at Lighthouse Reef has left one man dead and two others with serious burns. Reports are that around seven on Sunday morning park ranger for the Audubon Society, twenty-three year old Daryl Peo, boat captain Carl Pariente and a sideman identified only as Jose were heading to Blue Hole National Park with ten tourists on board. But near their destination, they encountered a severe thunderstorm and a bolt of lightning hit the boat. Pariente, Peo and Jose fell to the floor of the vessel suffering from burns to most of their bodies. Pariente struggled to his feet and managed to restart one of the boat's engines and then drove to Caye Chapel for help. But apparently, Peo took the brunt of the hit and died before reaching the island. Once at Caye Chapel, staff members there called for help and within the hour, a helicopter was rushing Pariente and Jose to the mainland. None of the tourists were injured. Tonight, Pariente remains admitted to ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to Gabriel Pariente, his son was struck by so much electricity that the gold chain around his neck melted. Officials at the Belize Audubon Society say Daryl Peo began working at Half Moon Caye in July 2003.

Re: Lightning strike at caye kills Audubon ranger #21411
07/04/06 03:06 AM
07/04/06 03:06 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 105
Caye Caulker
rastapasta Offline
rastapasta  Offline
Hey gang it was the most intense concentrated lightning show I have ever experienced. Strange San Pedro only heard some thunder. Well I woke up to The huge flash of lightening and the thunder clapped simultaneously no time to count 1- 100 to do the mile check thing.... a friend was on my verandah in my hammock and said the next bolt went down front street sideways for 7 seconds.... Major love and support to the crew of Frenchies dive shop that are one of our finest and professional operations. love M

Re: Lightning strike at caye kills Audubon ranger #21412
07/04/06 04:46 AM
07/04/06 04:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,262
St Louis, Mo., USA/San Pedro
Laguna Punta Offline
Laguna Punta  Offline
Having raced some storms back to the dock...I know what a horrifing experence this must have been. Condolences to the family and crew Frenchies Dive Shop.

Gone fishing!!
Re: Lightning strike at caye kills Audubon ranger #21413
07/05/06 02:18 PM
07/05/06 02:18 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
A Frenchie's dive boat on a routine dive trip to the Blue Hole was hit by lightning on Sunday morning July 1st. In the aftermath, one man lay dead and another lay unconscious. A third was left suffering with minor burns.

As is normal with the dive company, it loaded its dive boat with ten tourists, one captain divemaster and one assistant captain divemaster and headed out to sea. The boat left the dock at 6:30 a.m.

Not even ten minutes into the boat ride, the captain spotted a patch of bad weather up ahead and decided to abort the trip. Sensing danger, Captain Karl Pariente turned the boat around and headed back to shore. Not even five minutes from shore, a lightning bolt struck the boat's radio antennae. The boat was already inside the protected waters of the reef.

One of the passengers on board the boat was 22 year old park ranger, Daryl Teo. A ranger at Half Moon Caye National Park, Teo had missed two other rides to the island over the weekend. As a generous gesture, the dive shop had allowed the park ranger to board the boat and be dropped off on the island when the dive boat made its second scheduled dive stop there. No one could imagine that this would be his last day at sea.

Finding themselves surrounded by clapping thunder and a dazszling show of lightning bolts, the young Teo grabbed onto the boat's radio antennae for balance. At the same time, Captain Karl Pariente grabbed onto the metal steering wheel as he attempted to maneuver the boat to safety. It was at that moment that one of the lightening bolts struck the boat sending both men unconscious to the boat floor.

Aware of the danger they were all in, the second in command, Jose Enriquez, steered the boat towards Caye Chapel.

At 7:00 a.m., exactly half an hour after they had left the dock, dive shop owner Abel received the call that two of his men were down.

An immediate call was placed to BATSUB for a helicopter medevac. Due to the frightening storm, the helicopter was unable to be immediately dispatched. When the helicopter made a touchdown approximately one hour later, Teo had already succumbed to his injuries. Captain Karl, however, had regained some consciousness, but remained in a semi-conscious state. Both men were immediately transported by air ambulance to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Eyewitnesses on the boat say that the lightning bolt was so powerful, it melted the gold and silver jewelery of several of the men, leaving holes in the flesh where the jewelery once stood.

Reports are that Captain Karl Pariente has regained full consciousness, but remains hospitalized.

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