Gavin Christman and Langston Rodriguez-Sane killed in freak lightning strike along Lake Fairview in Orlando, Florida during rowing practise.
Five male students were practicing ‘unsupervised’ along Orlando, Florida’s Lake Fairview, on September 15, when lightning stuck, leaving their vessel capsized, according to the Orlando Fire Department.
The five boys were all thrown overboard – leaving Gavin Christman, 13, missing and Langston Rodriguez-Sane, 12, in critical condition.
Gavin’s body was pulled from the water after 24 hours, with Langston having clung to life for two weeks before succumbing to his injuries and dying on his 12th birthday.
A GoFundMe page has since been created paying tribute to the two boys, with all funds going to the victims’ families.
Authorities continue to investigate
‘We wish to shine a spotlight on the beauty and joy that Gavin and Langston brought into this world,’ the GoFundMe page read in part.
North Orlando Rowing was identified as 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 NOR community is devastated and continues to focus on supporting our affected families and our entire NOR team during this difficult time.’
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.’
Why where the kids out rowing in dangerous weather unsupervised?
There were storms in the general area near Lake Fairview, but no storm warnings there the day the rowing boat 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.
The official US Rowing website lists suggested safety measures for all of their affiliated members. They say before anyone gets into the water coaches and rowers should check the forecast. They also advise rowers to be aware of gathering clouds, changes in wind speed and temperature while in the water.
US Rowing suggests wearing lightning detectors on your belt. They also say if you hear thunder or see lightning, get back to shore immediately.