Crowded boat ramp blamed in woman’s death

GRANT, Fla. – A crowded boat ramp in Brevard County, Fla. may have played a role in the death of a 41-year-old woman who was struck by lightning Sunday, according to a story posted to television station WFTV’s Web site yesterday.

Stephanie Anderson was struck in the chest and her 10-year-old son Bradley, who is hospitalized, was hit in the head by the lightning bolt while the two sought shelter on a small island in the Indian River near Grant, Fla.

Witnesses said the family was within 100 yards of the boat launch but was unable to land due to a 20-boat backup that prevented them from coming in to find safe harbor.

The Orlando Sentinel reported in a story today that officials with the county’s parks and recreation department have been discussing the need for more boat ramps in south Brevard for more than a decade but that land along the river is extremely expensive and the water extremely shallow.

“So few docks and so many boats, if you’re on the water when a storm hits, there really is no Plan B,” Martin Carter, a lifelong boater and owner of Capt. Hiram’s, a restaurant, marina and hotel about five miles south of Grant, told the newspaper.

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