A Brazilian surfing champion died Wednesday after she was struck by lightning while training at a beach in central Brazil, local media reported.
Luzimara Souza, 23, was out surfing in Leste-Oeste beach in Fortaleza when a rainstorm with thunder and lightning passed through the region.
A local salesperson told Diario do Nordeste that he and others ran into the water after Souza and another young surfer were struck. They were pulled unconscious from the water and rushed to a local hospital.
“Unfortunately, this fatality happened,” he said. “I came here the moment our professional athlete received the electric discharge on top of her.”
Souza died from her injuries while the other surfer, believed to be a 17-year-old boy, was in critical condition. The hospital listed his condition as “delicate,” G1 Globo reported.
Video from the scene shows passersby rushing into the ocean to help carry the boy’s unconscious body from the water.
Souza’s mother, Mara, told the local news outlet that her daughter typically surfed in that beach and had been in the water when it started to rain.
Souza, who began surfing when she was 10 years old, won the Ceara Championship in 2018 and was the runner-up at the tournament this year, her trainer Jehova Rodrigues told Diario do Nordeste.
He said she was training for the Brazilian Surfing Championship, which is set to take place in Caponga on April 6-7.