Fishing boat Destin Princess hit by lightning, no one injured

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Only a few days later a huge waterspout was spotted speeding near the coast of Destin, the party boat Destin Princess, a 65-foot fishing boat, was struck by lightning.

Captain Aaron Finkley and his party of 35 anglers aboard the Destin Princess were fishing on the last day of red snapper season on Thursday when they took a hit.

“We had stopped and fished for about 10 minutes…and actually caught some fish in the boat there,” Finkley said.

Then, all of a sudden, a storm hit them.

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“We tried to escape and move around and when we were at the back of the storm we were struck by lightning,” he said.

“I saw a flash and then it turned black,” he said.

Lightning had struck the radio antenna, the tallest antenna on the boat.

“It was extremely noisy and then we took off in a black boat. We lost all control. The engines failed,” he said.

Captain Aaron Finkley of the Destin Princess was on a client charter in the Gulf of Mexico when the boat's fiberglass radio antenna was struck by lightning on Thursday.

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Finkley said with the help of the crew, they were able to keep everyone calm and everyone safe.

“We restarted the engines and decided that would be the end of our day,” he said, noting that they hadn’t been munched, they had a few red snappers in the can.

The captain said the reaction of the passengers was, “Did we just get hit?

“I knew we got hit. … My ears were ringing so hard,” Finkley said.

But he was grateful that everyone was safe.

“Safety is our number one priority. As long as everyone is okay, we can figure out the rest. Anglers have to improvise,” Finkley said.

Once the engines fired up, they came back.

Captain Aaron Finkley of the Destin Princess was on a client charter in the Gulf of Mexico when the boat's fiberglass radio antenna was struck by lightning on Thursday.

“We fucked up Dodge as they say,” Finkley said.

Were there any bad weather warnings before venturing out on Thursday?

“There were squalls there when we were going out, but nothing out of the ordinary. It happens, you can’t control Mother Nature like that,” he said.

Finkley said the mechanic came Thursday with the intention of returning Friday to get them running again.

Fortunately, he said they had no trips planned for the next few days and planned to go to drydock to prepare for Coast Guard inspections.

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