Charter boat struck by lightning twice south of Destin

Charter boat struck by lightning twice south of Destin

Summer thunderstorms created some frightening moments for a fishing charter Monday morning. Lightning struck a charter boat about 14 miles south of Destin.

Captain Bud Miller has been running charters out of Destin for two decades. Monday's trip is one he and first mate Nick Bulger will never forget.

With four passengers on board, they were in a summer squall, but wind and rain weren't all they encountered.

"I was inside with the customers working on tackle when we heard a very, very loud bang," Bulger said.

Captain Miller was tingling from an indirect lightning strike.

Their attention then turned to the electronics of the "Mighty Fine", which took a major hit.

"It struck right to the side of the boat. We had a proximity strike. It shut down all the motors, shut down all electronics," Captain Miller said.

They were able to restart one engine and headed toward the shore, but about that time a second bolt struck nearby.

"We lost all radio communication, so we were out there by ourselves," Captain Miller said.

Again, one engine fired up and they were able to make it to the docks without further problems.

"It was the glory of God we survived. It was through His protection and we thank Him for that," Captain Miller said.

The veteran captain said the experience has given him a new respect for the forces of Mother Nature.

"I have always respected the lightning, but I respect it a whole lot more now," Captain Miller said.

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