Home / National News / WATCH: Kayaker Tries to Out-Paddle Lightning Storm


(ARIPEKA, Fla.) — A video shows the terrifying moment a kayaker realizes that a storm has formed behind him and that he could be in mortal danger.

The rain wasn’t the cause of the kayaker’s fear, however. Lightning was visible as it repeatedly struck the water to his stern.

Erik Walasek told ABC News on Thursday that he always has his GoPro set up on a pole in his kayak when he goes fishing in the mangroves in Aripeka, Florida, and on the afternoon of Aug. 15, he recorded much more than just a few red fish catches.

“Before we went out, it was clear skies and down here it literally changes from clear skies to clouds to storms,” he said of the day that he filmed the video while fishing with his friend.

“In the summer, the storms literally pop up wherever they want to,” said Walasek, a 30-year-old plastics manufacturer.

The camera was set up facing Walasek in the center of the kayak, with two fishing poles positioned behind him. His friend was in a second kayak and could be seen briefly at the beginning of the video in the background.

Walasek said “at first” the storm seemed about a mile away as they started to paddle for the nearest house, but it crept closer and closer.

At the beginning of the video, Walasek’s long-sleeved white t-shirt appears dry, but it quickly starts to rain.

The raindrops are the clearest sound heard throughout the video, which was posted to YouTube on Aug. 16 and has since been viewed more than 200 times.

The incident hasn’t scarred Walasek permanently, however. It’s just going to make him “judge the storms better,” he said.

“I’ll be out there I’ll just be a little more wary when the storms roll in,” he said.

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