A Florida water-park worker was killed this past weekend, when the ride he was working at was struck by lightning. The tragedy occurred at the Adventure Island water-park in Tampa Florida. Justin Inversso was working to help people get off the Key West Rapids ride when lightning struck and killed him instantly. Mr. Inversso was standing in two to three feet of water when the lightning struck the ride. Florida is known as the lightning capitol of the world, and the Administration of Adventure island is very aware of this fact, and promptly requires the closing of the water-park with any hint of dangerous lightning, while immediately having patrons get out of the water and off the rides during storms.
The Key West Rapids ride was closed Saturday, while the rest of the park remained open. Florida storms can come up very quickly here in Florida and do strike without advance notice often. Park President Jim Dean told the St Petersberg Times that this was the first event of this kind to happen at Adventure Island . Considering that Adventure Island first opened on June 7th, 1980, and it is a big waterpark spread out over 30 acres, with the fact that water attracts lightning often, the fact that this is the first tragedy of it’s kind to ever happen at Adventure Island speaks volumes as to their safety policies in trying to protect their patrons. I personally used to live right next to Adventure Island and remember many times when the park was closed due to Florida storms approaching, much to the dismay of the younger kids enjoying the water rides on a hot, humid Florida day.
If you live in Florida, or are planning a visit to the Sunshine State, please review this Lightning Is Serious Risk article to help keep yourself and your family from becoming a victim of a lightning strike.
Here at CDN, and all across Florida, our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Justin Inversso during this time of sorrow and grief.