ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida child who was injured during rowing practice last week at Lake Fairview in Orlando – possibly due to a lightning strike – has died, the second child to die as a result of the incident, North Orlando Rowing club said Saturday night in a social media post. Another child's body was recovered last week from the lake after a rowing boat reportedly flipped over.
"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," North Orlando Rowing said in a Facebook post.
The nonprofit sports club did not identify the child, and said it was continuing to cooperate with authorities and USRowing, considered the government body of the sport.
"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," the statement read.
Five middle school-aged children were out on the lake last week for rowing practice when lightning either hit the boat itself or hit near the boat, which caused it to capsize, Orlando Fire Deputy Chief Ian David previously told FOX 35.
One child was missing and the child's body was recovered the next day from the lake, officials said. A second was taken to the hospital. Three others were treated and released, officials said.
While there was not a severe thunderstorm warning over Lake Fairview, there were storms in the area. It's unclear why the children were out on the lake with weather nearby or who was watching them.
The head coach of Edgewater Crew, another rowing team, told FOX 35 that members of the rowing community have met in wake of the tragedy to go over safety procedures.
"Just to go over our safety procedures, see if we needed to tweak anything, reviewed how to handle certain situations," said Coach Bill Zack, adding that he'd also like to see lightning detectors – systems that claim to be able to detect a possible lightning strike minutes before one happens – at the lake.