On Saturday Drew Plominski was prepping his yacht for the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race. The 30-foot vessel, named Perseverance, was just about ready. Along with his wife and three friends, he planned to leave on Sunday morning to compete in the 363-mile biennial race to Nova Scotia.
The 33-year-old South Boston resident left his boat moored at the Columbia Yacht Club and was at his house, just a couple of blocks away, when he heard the loud noise of lightning hitting something. It sounded like a boom and a crack, he said.
“We heard the strike in our house,” Plominski said in a telephone interview Monday. “It shook the floor.”
All he could think was: “Man, I hope that wasn’t our boat.”
But, sadly, it was.
Another member at the yacht club had been shooting video of the storm when the lightning hit Perseverance. The video captured the very moment that the lightning bolt came down from the sky and struck the mast of the yacht, sending sparks flying. After the bright flash, a puff of smoke could be seen drifting in the air.
Luckily, no one was on board.
“It was nuts,” Plominski said. “We were down there 15 minutes before. We were just waiting for rain to die down before we went down there again.”
Plominski said Perseverance is still afloat in the water, and he’s waiting to find out the total extent of the damage.
“All the electronics are fried,” he said.
Needless to say, Plominski had to withdraw from the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race.
“I’d been preparing for it over a year,” he said. Two of his friends had flown in from the West Coast for the event, which is held every other year.
For now he’s just thankful that no one was hurt.
“We’ll try for the next one,” he said.
Plominski’s yacht wasn’t the only thing to get hit by lightning during Saturday’s stormy weather. Elsewhere in Massachusetts, lightning was believed to have sparked a barn fire in the town of Southwick, and the National Weather Service received a report that two people were injured when lightning struck a tree at a campground in Warwick, a small town in Franklin County. The individuals were taken to the hospital but did not suffer significant injuries, according to the weather service website.