Lightning strike kills Brazilian surfing hope

April 1, 2019 | Surfing

Luzimara Souza, 23, died after lightning struck the water where she was surfing in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The young surfer paddled out at Leste-Oeste Beach on a rainy and cloudy day and, she was hit by lightning moments after weather conditions worsened.

Two men immediately rushed to help Luzimara Souza, but the Brazilian was already unconscious when she was pulled out of the water and back to the beach.

Her mother, Maura Souza, warned Luzimara about the weather, but the young spirit was determined to go surfing.

"She was a warrior that will remain in the memory of the whole community," said her coach, Jeová Rodrigues.

Luzimara Souza started surfing at Mero Beach when she was 10. The 2018 Ceará State surfing champion was regarded as one of the most talented athletes of her generation.

A Passionate Surfer

Actually, the victim was training for the national surfing championships and raising money for her competitive travels.

The official cause of death is cardiac arrest.

"She was a very positive person. When we thought thing weren't going to be good, she always believed there was always a way out. She taught me a lot, and I will miss her dearly," said an emotional Caroline de França, Souza's girlfriend.

Family and friends of Luzimara Souza kept a minute of silence in honor at Leste-Oeste Beach in her memory, and promised to draw her face on her surfboard.

Luzimara had a dream. She wanted to become a professional surfer.

"What I have conquered, I lost because of my sexual orientation. But that doesn't make me stop. I will keep training every single day because it's what I love," Souza once said in tears.

"I started surfing with a piece of wooden board. I cried, and I begged my mother to buy me a real board. When I got it, I started landing my first maneuvers and, since then, I have never stopped.

Souza was not the only surfer hit by lightning, though.

The lightning also zapped 17-year-old wave rider, Felipe Nogueira. He was taken to the nearest hospital in critical condition.

Surfers should never get in the water during thunderstorms, as they become an easy target for lightning strikes.

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